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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Markets and societies need protection against corruption. Though governments have introduced tougher regulations against the problem, enforcement failure is common. This chapter explains why. The nature of corruption makes the problem difficult to control, enforcement functions are dysfunctional, and political quests for commercial benefits reduce government commitment. Forces that strengthen the effect of anti-corruption regulations nevertheless exist. Across the globe, enforcement agencies are starting to pick up economic ideas on how to break the trust between those who collude and how to incentivize firms to self-report incidents and self-police their operations. Increasingly, firms want returns from their investment in corporate compliance, and major players in the private sector support policy initiatives for predictable and consistent law enforcement. Combined with regulations that target the problem indirectly—such as competition oversight, financial oversight, and anti-money-laundering tools—the costs associated with bribery outweigh the benefits for an increasing share of market players.

Keywords: corruption, bribery, corporate liability, market distortions, law enforcement, political economy

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