How To Grease A Palm
Case Analysis by
Growing up in India, I remember driving my first motorcycle with three of my friends riding with me, running a red light, and crossing over to the wrong side of the road; basically breaking every law in the book. The get-out-of-jail-free (literally) card was a Rs. 50 ($1) bribe to the cop who pulled me over. Statistically, this cop’s salary was around $960 a year, but he probably exacted the same amount in bribes, although half of that amount most likely found its way up to the senior officers as a bribe to them. The magnitude of corruption at every level of society, especially in developing countries, is overwhelming at times. Why has corruption permeated through the fabric of developing countries? And are they the only ones or is the perception that wealthier and developing countries have minimal corruption, skewed?
In the early years, many experts argued that corruption was best understood as a phase of economic development. They thought it would first intensify and then decline as economic development occurred, and they pointed out that this was what had happened in Western Europe and North America. This analysis was flawed. It assumed that developing countries would develop rapidly, and that their development path would follow that of developed countries, and it further assumed that the problem of corruption had largely been solved in the developed world; economic development had caused it to 'wither away'. Both assumptions proved wrong. For instance, the development process in many parts of the developing world and especially in Africa appears stalled and those countries experience high levels of corruption. Elsewhere, as in the emerging Asian economies, rapid economic growth and development have occurred but usually accompanied by high levels of corruption. In the developed world, corruption scandals have become an everyday feature of life in Italy, France and some states...