Aspects of Bureaucratic Corruption

Gautam Bose

in The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Economy

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199734580
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Aspects of Bureaucratic Corruption

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  • Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Economic Development and Growth


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This article attempts to identify treatments of corruption that draw on characteristics of underdevelopment either as causes or as consequences. There is a very small amount of literature (both empirical and theoretical) on corruption in the Indian context. A primary reason for the lack of empirical work is the unavailability of data: Both parties typically benefit from corruption, and, therefore, neither has an incentive to report it. The article looks at three aspects of government corruption in developing countries, and in India in particular: red tape, rent-seeking, and the abundance of intermediaries (such as middlemen). The article argues that if wasteful red tape is specifically a characteristic of public provision (not private), then provision should be privatized, as suggested by the “efficient corruption” literature. The article emphasizes that there is very little work on intermediation (and the role of intermediaries) in corruption, an analysis of which is necessary to understand the structure of corruption markets, especially in the Indian context.

Keywords: corruption; rent-seeking; intermediaries; red tape; corruption markets; Indian economy

Article.  14299 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Public Economics ; Economic Development and Growth

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