Economic research on corruption aims both to isolate the economic effects of quid pro quo deals between agents and third parties, and to suggest how legal and institutional reforms might curb harms and enhance benefits. In this comprehensive Handbook, top scholars in the field provide specially commissioned essays, both theoretical and empirical, exploring both types of research.The Handbook begins with an introductory essay by the editor, followed by two chapters written by leading exponents of cross-country research. However, the focus of the Handbook is on research at the micro level, where policy can be made and evaluated.
These microeconomic studies fall into several overlapping categories. The first group includes studies that link corrupt incentives to institutional structures, particularly the organization of the state. The second draws implications from surveys of households or businesses and from controlled experiments. The third concentrates on particular sectors such as education, tax administration, public works, customs services, and pharmaceuticals.
Finally, two chapters assess corruption in the transition away from socialism in Europe and Asia.