DP6273 Understanding Political Corruption in Low Income Countries

Author(s): Rohini Pande
Publication Date: April 2007
Keyword(s): corruption, development
JEL(s): O12
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6273

Building on the large and growing empirical literature on the political behaviour of individuals in low income countries this chapter seeks to understand corruption through the lens of political economy -- particularly in terms of the political and economic differences between rich and poor countries. Our focus is on the political behaviour of individuals exposed to democratic political institutions. We review the existing literature on the determinants of individual political behaviour to ask whether we can understand the choice of political actors to be corrupt and, importantly, of other individuals to permit it, as a rational response to the social or the economic environment they inhabit. We also discuss the implications of this view of corruption for anti-corruption policies.