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Corruption in India: When Preaching Piety is Not Enough

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Corruption has been at the top of public political discussion in India in recent years. While the general discussion is in terms of lapses in morals or leadership failures, institutional economics takes a different approach to the understanding of the incidence of corruption and the policies relevant to alleviating it. The talk will illustrate this approach in the context of India. After pointing out some definitional issues on corruption, it will go into the supposedly paradoxical perception that corruption has increased instead of diminishing in the years after economic liberalization. It will examine the current demand for the Lokpal (ombudsman) and the enactment of the Lokpal Act of 2014. It will show how in this process some of the institutional, organizational and incentive issues have been overlooked, and how some other kinds of reforms may be more useful. It will also point out ways in which over-zealousness in anti-corruption movements can be counter-productive.

This is a public lecture (free and open to all) part of the conference “Institutions and their Discontents: Rethinking Economic Development in South Asia”

For more information, see: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/25522

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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