Essays in Political Economy
Edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Paul Lagunes
Chapter 1: Typologies of corruption: a pragmatic approach
Studies of corruption provide much evidence on both the causes and consequences of corruption, and yet progress remains strikingly limited on the conditions under which these causes may be relevant and these consequences occur. If an anti corruption reform successfully attenuates corruption in one context, should we expect the same to occur elsewhere? What information do we need about both the intervention and the nature of the corruption itself to answer this question? The goals of this chapter are threefold: first, to highlight issues of conceptualization and measurement in the existing literature on corruption that limit our ability to cumulate knowledge about corruption’s causes, effects, and the potential for reform. Second, to argue for a more explicit but pragmatic approach to typologies of corruption that should improve our ability to cumulate knowledge while not limiting the analytic endeavor. And, third, to present a new typology of corruption that is intended to facilitate analyses specifically aimed at identifying those individuals with a vested interest in existing forms of corruption.