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date: 19 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Corruption, understood as a special means by which private agents may seek to pursue their interest in competition for preferential treatment by government officials or politicians and where the “means” are valued by the recipient, is viewed by most social scientists as a major obstacle to economic, political, and social development and a source of inefficiency. This chapter presents a framework and taxonomy for the study of corruption. Within this framework, corruption is conceptualized as a particular instance of the more general social phenomena we call influence-seeking activities. The chapter provides an overview of theoretical models of corruption, summarizes cross-country evidence on the causes and consequences of corruption, and evaluates the recent literature on laboratory, field, and quasi-natural experiments.

Keywords: corruption, bribes, rent seeking, causes of corruption, consequences of corruption

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