Column : The dynamics of corruption
I had recently had the chance of researching the subject of corruption with my former colleague Ajay Subramanian*. The questions to ask included whether all corruption is the same—the everyday kind that we face from traffic policemen, road inspectors, tax refund clerks, railway officials or the grand larceny of the kind that the likes of Raja and Kalmadi and former senior judges are now accused of? Which one is worse for the nation, and therefore a bigger danger? And finally, what circumstances bring about the best outcome? Is there a point where the costs of reducing corruption further are more than its benefits? Given that it is unlikely that we can ever build a nation with zero corruption, how much of our resources spent in detection would lead us to the optimum level that maximises the nation’s welfare?
In our view
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