course

Corruption and rent-seeking have been identified as major drags on development, political legitimacy and democratization. Regulatory capture, corrupt public administration or excessive rents generated in sectors ranging from finance to public utilities are a social loss and facilitate the entrenchment of economic power and political control in elites. Multilateral organizations and NGOs have duly defined the fight against political corruption and the liberalization of markets as mutually reinforcing policy targets. This course has two aims. First, it introduces the main theories on the origin and prevalence of corruption and rent-seeking in societies. Second, it provides perspective by drawing on the long history of these practices, with a particular emphasis on the interaction between the organization of markets and the opportunities for earning rents. Even though the focus is on corruption at the state level, necessary reference will be made to private sector equivalents such as corporate fraud.