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Unbundling corruption, what is corruption, what types of corruption dominate in which countries, does corruption adversely affect growth, how does elite politics interact with street-level corruption, what is the relationship between corruption and democracy, how does corruption relate to inequality, unbundling corruption: revisiting six questions on corruption.

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Yuen Yuen Ang; Unbundling Corruption: Revisiting Six Questions on Corruption. Global Perspectives 11 May 2020; 1 (1): 12036. doi:

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Corruption is conventionally measured in global indices as a one-dimensional problem—one score for every country—a practice that has profoundly shaped our conceptualization of corruption and its relationship with capitalism. What if we unbundle corruption into qualitatively distinct types and then measure them across countries? How will this approach change our understanding of corruption? This review article serves two purposes. First, it introduces a new framework for “unbundling corruption” into four varieties and highlights their differential economic effects. Based on this typology, I piloted a new cross-national measure of these four varieties of corruption in fifteen countries, using an expert, perception-based survey—the Unbundled Corruption Index (UCI)™. Second, I review six questions on corruption through the lens of unbundling corruption. Shifting our focus of corruption from its aggregated quantity to its quality not only changes our responses to commonly asked questions about corruption, it also prompts new questions.

Everyone would agree that corruption is a scourge and one of the most stubborn obstacles to development. Corruption distorts policymaking, misallocates public funds, hinders business operations, and prevents public services from reaching citizens. The most corrupt countries are invariably the poorest countries, according to global indices and press reports of corruption. 1 Governments, development agencies, and nongovernmental organizations have dedicated enormous efforts to fighting corruption, particularly bribery. 2

But are the most corrupt countries always the poorest ones? Is it even meaningful to speak of “the most corrupt country” if corruption varies not only by quantity (1, 2, or 3) but also by quality (A, B, or C)? For instance, taking bribes, stealing public funds, and placing family members of powerful politicians on corporate boards are all examples of corruption, but of different kinds, with vastly different consequences. Does it make sense to blend all corrupt actions into a single bowl of mush and to compare which countries have more mush?

The idea that corruption comes in distinct varieties is not new, 3 but qualitative typologies have not influenced the way corruption is conventionally measured and thus conceptualized around the world—as a one-dimensional problem. The most prominent global index of corruption is the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), released annually by Transparency International (TI). Others include the World Bank’s Control of Corruption Index (part of the Worldwide Governance Index) and indices created by business consultancies for country risk assessments. All of these indicators assign a single corruption score to each country, ranging from 0 to 100. Poor countries consistently rank at the bottom while wealthy countries are always at the top. 4

How corruption is measured is no mere technical issue—it profoundly shapes the way we understand and fight the problem. 5 Because bundled indices are widely used in statistical analyses, they have narrowed the focus of discussion to how the aggregated quantity of corruption matters, at the expense of understanding the quality of corruption and its effects. In fact, rich countries may not always have less corruption than poor countries; rather, their corruption manifests differently, usually involving quid pro quo and in legalized, institutionalized ways (White 2011; Whyte 2015; Lessig 2018) .

This review article serves two purposes. First, it introduces a framework for unbundling corruption into four distinct varieties (petty theft, grand theft, speed money, and access money) and underscores their differential economic effects. Based on this typology, I piloted a new measure of corruption in 15 countries, which I call the Unbundled Corruption Index (UCI)™, using an expert, perception-based survey. My article will not detail all of my survey methods and results, which readers can find in a separate study (Ang 2020, chapter 1 and appendix). Instead, I highlight only the relevant parts.

Second, I explore six questions on corruption through the lens of unbundling corruption. My objective is not to exhaustively review the literature but rather to prompt reflections and dialogue. This review complements several survey articles focusing on microeconomic studies and cross-national regressions using existing indicators (Jain 2001; Svensson 2005; Treisman 2007; Olken and Pande 2012) . By shifting the focus of corruption from its aggregated quantity to its qualitative patterns, however, I hope to offer fresh perspectives on commonly asked questions about corruption as well as to raise new questions.

Corruption comes in distinct varieties, not just in varying quantities. For a framework that is both comprehensive and parsimonious, I divide corruption along two dimensions.

First, I distinguish between corruption involving two-way exchanges between state and social actors, 6 including but not limited to bribery, and corruption involving theft, such as embezzlement or extortion. This distinction is important because whereas corruption with exchange generates at least some benefit for transacting parties, state actors who rob citizens and public coffers provide no benefit in return, generating a net loss for society (Evans 1989; Reinikka and Svensson 2004; Sun 2004, 110) .

Second, I highlight the difference between corruption involving elite political actors, such as politicians and leaders, and non-elites: regular civil servants, police officers, inspectors, customs officers, and frontline providers of public services. This dimension captures corruption that occurs among high- and low-level actors, respectively (Rose-Ackerman 1999; Jain 2001; Rose-Ackerman 2002; Bussell 2012) . Political elites can grant special deals, block access, or control public coffers. Their corruption, therefore, involves high monetary stakes and the allocation of valuable resources. Conversely, street-level bureaucrats can only exercise discretion within their limited job scope—for example, processing permits or assigning school enrollment slotfs. Although these actors are not elites, their actions, Lipsky (1980, 3) emphasizes, “constitute the ‘services’ delivered by government.” 7

Four Varieties of Corruption

The intersection of these two dimensions generates a matrix of four varieties of corruption, as shown in table 1 below: petty theft, grand theft, speed money, access money.

Generically described, each of the four categories in table 1 encompasses the following:

Petty theft refers to acts of stealing, misuse of public funds, or extortion among street-level bureaucrats.

Grand theft refers to embezzlement or misappropriation of large sums of public monies by political elites who control state finances.

Speed money means petty bribes that businesses or citizens pay to bureaucrats to get around hurdles or speed things up.

Access money encompasses high-stakes rewards extended by business actors to powerful officials, not just for speed but to access exclusive, valuable privileges.

In reality, the four categories in my framework often mix and overlap. For example, corrupt police officers may set up speed traps to extract bribes from drivers, which is both an act of extortion (manipulating speed limits) and exchange (bribes in exchange for skipping fines). But as Max Weber said, ideal types are “border cases . . . of indispensable analytical value, and bracket historical reality which almost always appears in mixed forms” (Weber 1968, 1002) . Precisely because reality is messy, we need to highlight the dimensions that matter most to our inquiry. 8

My typology is distinguished from existing conceptualizations of corruption in several ways. First, in addition to obviously illegal forms of corruption (petty theft, grand theft, and speed money), it encompasses elite exchanges of power and profit in the category of access money. This can manifest in both illegal (large kickbacks to government officials for procurement deals) and legal, institutionalized ways (offering politicians’ aides future jobs in the private sector, for example).

Second, I draw a clear distinction between two types of bribery (or transactional corruption) that are frequently conflated in the literature: “speed money” as opposed to “access money.” Whereas speed money, a commonly used term in corruption studies (Mauro 1995; Bardhan 1997, 1323) , involves paying bribes to overcome excessive red tape or delay, access money buys special deals and lucrative perks. The popular analogy of “greasing the wheels” is equivalent to only speed money in my typology (Kaufmann et al. 2000; Méon and Sekkat 2005; Y. Chen, Liu, and Su 2013) ; access money is more sludge than grease.

The Differential Harm of Types of Corruption

All corruption is damaging, but not all types of corruption impede capitalist activities, nor do they cause the same kind of harm. The best analogy is drugs, as summarized in table 2. Within my typology, petty theft and grand theft are equivalent to toxic drugs; they are the most economically damaging as they drain public and private wealth. 9 Worse, such corruption subverts law and order, deterring investors, local businesses, foreign aid donors, and tourists.

On the other hand, speed money is like painkillers; although they lessen pain, consuming them in excess is harmful. Earlier on, some argue that speed money (petty bribery) enhances efficiency by allowing citizens to overcome administrative hurdles and delays (Leff 1964; Huntington 1968; Scott 1972) . As Huntington (1968, 69) wrote, “Corruption may be one way of surmounting traditional laws or bureaucratic regulations which hamper economic expansion.” But this kind of corruption still imposes a cost—and thus constitutes a tax—on citizens and businesses. 10 Petty bribes are especially burdensome to the poor.

Access money is the steroids of capitalism. Steroids are known as growth-enhancing drugs, but they come with serious side effects. China provides a sharp illustration: by enriching capitalists who pay for privileges and rewarding politicians who serve capitalist interests, access money perversely stimulates transactions and investment, which translates into GDP growth (Ang 2019; Ang 2020, chapter 5).

Yet this does not mean that access money is “good” for the economy—on the contrary, it distorts the allocation of resources, breeds systemic risks, and exacerbates inequality. The harm of access money only blows up in the event of a crisis: for example, America’s first great depression of 1839 (triggered by risky public financing and state-bank collusion) (Ang 2016, chapter 7; Wallis 2000, 2001), the 1997 East Asia financial crisis (Kang 2002) , and the 2008 US financial crisis (Baker 2010; Igan, Mishra, and Tressel 2011; White 2011; Fisman and Golden 2017; Fligstein, Brundage, and Schultz, Forthcoming) . To be sure, crony capitalism was not the singular cause of these events, but it was undoubtedly a precipitating factor. As the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (2011, 37) concluded in stark terms, “Both [political] parties are thus held hostage by these special interests, because both parties need their campaign contributions.” Prior to the bust, access money helped beat the froth of capitalism into a boom.

Unbundled Corruption Index (UCI)™

The structure of a country’s corruption—what types dominate and to what degree—could affect economic and social outcomes as much as aggregate levels of corruption. Here, I present a first-known attempt to create an indicator of qualitatively distinct typologies of corruption across countries, which I call the Unbundled Corruption Index (UCI)™. The UCI is based on an original survey of country experts that measures the perceived prevalence of the four categories of corruption in my framework: access money, speed money, grand theft, and petty theft.

Analysts regularly use expert surveys to measure institutional or political contexts at the country level. Examples include Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) (Coppedge et al. 2018) , Global Integrity’s Africa Integrity Indicators, Banerjee and Pande’s (2007) study of political corruption, 11 and the many sources that are combined to create the CPI (Transparency International 2016a). These surveys target experts because individuals who study, report on, or do business in a country are more likely to have a bird’s-eye view of the entire political economy, whereas citizens’ experiences are usually limited to petty corruption. 12

My UCI survey measured responses from 125 experts, including academics with area expertise, journalists, business leaders, and professionals with at least ten years of experience in a given country. To partially counter first-world bias in standard business surveys, which mostly survey Western business executives (Apaza 2009) , 45 percent of my expert respondents are natives of the country they scored. The survey was conducted in 2017 and 2018 through an online platform.

Categories and Countries

For a finer measurement, my survey unbundles each of four categories into subcategories, as listed in table 3. The responses for each subcategory sum to a category score; category scores add up to the UCI total corruption score. In this way, my survey yielded both category-specific and aggregated scores for fifteen countries, including a mixture of low-income (Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria), middle-income (Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa, Thailand), and high-income countries (Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States). More methodological details are contained in chapter 1 and the appendix of China’s Gilded Age.

The CPI and WGI are not based on in-house surveys; rather, they are constructed by combining scores from third-party surveys (Arndt and Oman 2006; Apaza 2009) . 13 These surveys tend to ask respondents to rate corruption in a country using broadly worded questions. For instance, the World Competitiveness Yearbook, one of CPI’s sources (Transparency International 2016a) , asked business leaders to rate corruption based on a single terse question:

Bribery and corruption: exist or do not exist.

Another similar example is from the EIU’s Country Risk Ratings:

Are there general abuses of public resources?

Evidently, overly broad wording presents a validity problem: “corruption” or “abuses” can mean vastly different things to different people.

To improve measurement validity, my survey asks respondents to evaluate corruption using stylized vignettes, designed to be concrete and yet generic enough to represent a class of similar corrupt activities. For example, inspired by the corruption saga of the Chinese politician Bo Xilai, one question captures “crony capitalism” in this way:

By cultivating close ties with a powerful official and paying for his family’s expenses, a businessperson gains monopoly access to public construction projects. How common do you think this  type  of scenario is in [country] today?

A second vignette captures conflict of interest among influential actors who rotate between government and corporations, inspired by a New York Times article on “a revolving door between Washington and Wall Street” in the housing and financial industry. 14

Major figures move back and forth between the public and private sector, and there are no laws forbidding this practice. How common do you think this type of scenario is in [country] today?

Using vignettes to “anchor” respondents with potentially divergent interpretations of survey questions helps to mitigate cultural or other biases regarding what constitutes corruption (King et al. 2004; King and Wand 2007) , which is a perennial challenge in measuring corruption (Davis and Ruhe 2003; Robertson and Nichols 2017) . Note that my survey questions do not ask respondents to pass judgment on whether a scenario is corrupt. Instead, they are simply asked to rate how commonly it occurs in the particular country they evaluate, using a five-level Likert-type scale, ranging from “extremely common” to “never occurs.” This ensures that respondents are rating the same scenarios, and in doing so, consistency is improved.

Visualizing Unbundled Corruption

The UCI measures four typological clusters (petty theft, grand theft, speed money, access money) on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 indicating the highest perceived level of corruption. The sum of the four categories is the UCI total score, which ranges from 0 to 40. To facilitate analysis, the scores are visualized in a format shown in figure 1, which displays the total UCI score and the distribution of this aggregate score across four categories. The category that takes up the highest proportion of the score is interpreted as the dominant mode, shaded in orange.

One key advantage of UCI is that it simultaneously visualizes the quantity of corruption (in each of the four categories and in total) and its quality (which type of corruption dominates). This approach reveals significant patterns that conventional bundled scores obscure.

Countries with identical bundled scores can have divergent structures of corruption, as a comparison of China and India reveals. In 2017 China’s CPI score was 41 and India’s was 40. In my survey, China and India also rank next to each other. Yet as figure 2 shows, the most dominant type of corruption in China is access money, whereas in India, it is speed money. This finding is consistent with the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB), a separate survey conducted by TI, which asked ordinary citizens around the world whether they had to pay a bribe in order to access public services (Transparency International 2017) . In the period of 2015 to 2017, the GCB reported that 69 percent of respondents in India paid petty bribes, compared to only 26 percent in China.

Another advantage of UCI is that it reveals that some wealthy countries with low aggregate levels of corruption may have moderately high levels of access money. The United States is a case in point. According to the CPI in 2017, the United States is ranked among the least corrupt countries in the world, rated no. 16 out of 180 countries. Middle-class American citizens do not normally encounter bribe-taking public officers, nor are scandals about elite embezzlement of public funds common. Yet the US score on access money (6.9) is above average in my data set of 15 countries, higher than Thailand (6.5), South Korea (6.1), and even Ghana (5.8) (see figure 3)

The design of a survey influences the responses it gets. Many of the third-party surveys used to create the CPI and WGI ask respondents to rate the overall level of corruption in a given country without unpacking their impression (for example, see the World Competitiveness Yearbook and EIU, which were earlier described). I replicated the wording of these surveys by posing this question in my UCI survey, before presenting the unbundled vignettes: “How do you grade the problem of corruption in [country] today on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being most severe?”

As figure 3 shows, when respondents are asked for their overall impression, they report lower levels of corruption in wealthy economies and higher levels of corruption in poor countries than compared to responses obtained using the UCI method (rating each vignette and then adding up scores). For example, the United States and Singapore are perceived as less corrupt by overall impression than by the UCI method. It could be that when respondents are asked to evaluate corruption in a single question, as seen in conventional surveys, they overlook nonillegal manifestations of access money such as influence peddling and regulatory capture. But when perceptions are unbundled, these activities are factored into the total. Conversely, Nigeria and Ghana are perceived as more corrupt by overall impression than by the UCI method. This may reflect the fact that the types of corruption that dominate in Ghana (speed money) and Nigeria (grand theft) are visible to the public or widely condemned.

In short, existing surveys and bundled scores not only fail to distinguish among different varieties of corruption, they also tend to under count corruption among rich countries and over count corruption in poor countries. Put differently, the standard approach amplifies the perceived gap in corruption between high- and low-income countries. Notably, perceived corruption scores affect countries’ risk ratings. For example, both Moody’s and Fitch, two of the world’s largest credit rating organizations, use the World Bank’s Control of Corruption Indicator, which follows a similar methodology as CPI, to construct ratings on institutional strength and sovereign risks (Panizza 2017; see also Arndt and Oman 2006, chapter 3), which in turn influence corporate investment, capital allocation, and the cost of loans. Thus the financial implications of biases built into bundled ratings are potentially huge.

Despite their flaws, existing global indices provide the best available source for comparing corruption levels across countries. They have performed a critical public function by successfully mobilizing public awareness and constructive action around anticorruption. Through these indices, TI and other organizations have also successfully mobilized public awareness and constructive action around anticorruption. As TI (2020) states on its website, “We’ve fought to put in place binding global conventions against corruption” and “helped hundreds of thousands of people to take a stand.”

But there is plenty of room for augmenting existing indicators and enabling targeted methods of anticorruption by unbundling corruption. To be sure, the UCI is only a pilot, and much more work is needed to refine its design and implementation. The patterns in my survey are only suggestive, and future research is necessary to confirm or disprove them. Nevertheless, my effort provides a theoretical framework and procedural prototype for systematically measuring distinct categories of corruption across countries.

Having introduced my framework of unbundling corruption and my measurement strategy, next I explore how this perspective could change our responses to a few commonly asked questions about corruption, as well as new questions it motivates.


Corruption is conventionally defined as the abuse of public office for private gain (World Bank 1997; International Monetary Fund 2016; Transparency International 2016b) . Most studies interpret this to mean illegal abuses of power, including graft, embezzlement, and vote buying, which are most rampant in poor countries. In particular, classic models of corruption focus on bribery. 15 To give two examples from a long list, Shleifer and Vishny’s seminal article on corruption considers only bribery, 16 and Fisman and Golden’s (2017, 1) primer on corruption opens with the problem of “whether to pay a bribe to receive a government benefit or service.” 17

This conventional scope of corruption omits nonillegal exchanges of power and profit among elites that do not involve bribes or breaking laws, which do exist in wealthy democracies. Examples include cultivating political connections, campaign finance, revolving-door practices (moving between leadership posts in private and public sectors), making offers of future lucrative positions, and “undue influence” (defined by legal scholars as “a distortion of political outcomes as a result of the undue influence of wealth”). 18 Such activities “hover on a legal borderline,” to use Svensson’s (2005) term; thus they are more accurately described as nonillegal than as legal.

To some, whether such actions count as corruption is debatable. Consider lobbying in the United States (Fisman and Golden 2017, 78--79) : lobbyists are registered, campaign donations are mostly public, and lobbying is legitimate and even necessary for democratic representation. It is only “corrupt” when this influence is excessive or advances narrow interests at the cost of public welfare. But it is nearly impossible in practice to determine when lobbying has crossed the line into corruption. 19

Others may consider it offensive to apply the label of corruption to actions that take place in first-world democracies. As legal scholar Lessig (2018, 12) acknowledged in his analysis of the American political system, the notion that “our Congress is corrupt as an institution, while none of the members of Congress is corrupt individually” is “hard . . . for many to accept.” Likewise, writing about the United Kingdom, Whyte (2015, 1) noted that calling out corruption in rich nations may appear to denigrate a “self-imagined national heritage . . . [of] fairness and democracy.”

I see it differently, however: those who value democracy should be all the more vigilant about the perversion of formal political representation by powerful interest groups. As the economists Glaeser and Goldin (2006, 3) put it starkly, “To most Americans, corruption is something that happens to less fortunate people in poor nations and transition economies.” This common impression contributes to apathy and complacence in first-world democracies, which dampens public pressure for crucial reforms, including in campaign finance, financial regulation, and climate action.

One advantage of my typology for unbundling corruption is that it factors “access money” into the definition of corruption. In doing so, it makes clear that wealthy countries have corruption, but of a different type compared to poor countries. 20 Moreover, my vignette-based survey design can encompass both legal and illegal modes of access money. The UCI yields insights into both aggregated and disaggregated levels of corruption, thus providing parsimony and nuance.

In Svensson’s (2005, 20) article, he writes, “Corruption is often thought of as a tax or a fee.” My framework points out that from a capitalist’s point of view, access money is an investment. In the United States, big corporations sink billions of dollars into lobbying every year because returns exceed costs. 21 Another example is a recent study of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which paid bribes in ten Latin American countries and two African countries in more than one hundred projects. The company’s payments of $788 million in bribes was estimated to increase its profits by $2.4 billion (Campos et al. 2019) .

Thus, access money must be distinguished from speed money—that is, bribes paid to avoid harassment and delays. Firm-level surveys that include questions on the experience of paying bribes, such as the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, most likely capture only speed money. Companies may want to complain about business hurdles and extractions, but they are unlikely to admit to buying influence, as the case of Odebrecht suggests. Expert, perception surveys thus remain a necessary means of measuring access money, despite their inherent limitations (Olken 2009; Razafindrakoto and Roubaud 2010) .

In his review article, Svensson asks, “Which countries are the most corrupt?” His answer is that it depends on which corruption measure we use. But it turns out that the available indicators are highly correlated. Indeed, according to Svensson (2005, 22), the correlation between the CPI and the World Bank’s Control of Corruption Index is 0.97—nearly identical. The countries that appear on the most corrupt list are no surprise: for example, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

Unbundling corruption prompts us to ask a different question: what types of corruption tend to dominate in which countries? Although my pilot UCI covers only fifteen countries, we can still discern a clear pattern: access money is the dominant type of corruption among the five high-income cases (United States, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore). Within this group, the level of access money in the United States is the highest. Do qualitative patterns vary by income level, regime type, or both? Does decentralization foster certain types of corruption while diminishing others? Why is access money more prevalent in some wealthy countries than in others? To examine these questions, we need data on types of corruption across a large set of cases.

This discussion brings me to a methodological issue concerning small-n, comparative studies: How can we determine which type of corruption dominates in a country? Among qualitative researchers, there are abundant studies that characterize particular countries as having a certain type of corruption. For example, according to Johnston (2005, 2008), Japan represents “influence markets,” South Korea represents “elite cartels,” India represents “oligarchs and clans,” and China represents “official moguls.” A clear problem with this approach is subjectivity. Each analyst may classify the same cases under different categories. China is a case in point: its corruption is variously characterized as “similar to many of the worst examples of economically destructive corruption,” “less destructive” than in Russia, and “helped to navigate around excessive regulations” (Sun 1999; Wedeman 2012; Huang 2015) . Whose opinion is correct?


The same question can be asked of an influential literature in political economy on “extractive/nonextractive” institutions (Acemoglu 2008; Acemoglu and Robinson 2012) , “close/open access orders” (North, Wallis, and Weingast 2009) , and “clientelist/capitalist political settlements” (Khan 2010) . 22 Their approach is to illustrate categories within a proposed typology using selected country cases. What are their classification criteria? How should analysts determine which category China, Ghana, Finland, or any country fits into?

By specifying clear, common criteria for measuring levels of corruption across categories, as I did in the UCI pilot, we can debate issues of survey design and data collection rather than individual subjective opinion. This makes qualitative classification more rigorous.

Another question posed by Svensson is, Does corruption adversely affect growth? It is widely believed that corruption impedes economic growth (Mauro 1995; Kaufmann, Kraay, and Zoido-Lobatón 1999; Mo 2001; Treisman 2007) . Mauro’s (1995) famous article was the first to empirically establish a negative link between corruption and growth using cross-national data. In Svensson’s updated replication of Mauro’s article, however, Svensson (2005, 39) does not find a robust effect of corruption on growth. Still, in a 2007 review of the literature, Treisman (2007, 225) concludes, “The correlation between economic development and perceived corruption is extremely robust.”


So what should we take away? As Svensson (2005, 39) sharply underscores, “There is no reason to believe that all types of corruption are equally harmful for growth. Existing data, however, are by and large too coarse to examine different types of corruption in a cross-section of countries.” A second problem is that growth, measured as GDP per capita, cannot adequately capture the economic impact of corruption. Access money may stimulate growth but produce distortions and risks that erupt only during a crisis, yet such risks are nearly impossible to measure.

By unbundling corruption and distinguishing the effects of different types of corruption, we can better explain why certain countries—most notably, China—achieved an economic boom despite signs of serious corruption (Ang 2020) . To be sure, China has all forms of corruption, but the dominant type today is access money, as shown in figure 2. In China access money spurs politically connected capitalists to feverishly invest and build, while enabling politicians to achieve their development targets and ascend career ladders. Yet, functioning like steroids, this corruption also produces distortions and risks. For example, it channels excessive investment into speculation in real estate, widens inequality in society and between connected and nonconnected capitalists, and generates strong vested interests that block liberalization. Painfully aware of these dangers, the Chinese leadership is today fighting to “de-risk” the economy while pressing on with President Xi’s forceful crackdown on graft, launched in 2012.

How is the Chinese paradox different from the situation in Indonesia, a country that also saw crony capitalism and growth, particularly under President Suharto? One crucial difference is that the Chinese government took strong, methodical measures to curb growth-damaging forms of corruption (petty theft, grand theft, speed money). Beginning in 1998, China invested in an ambitious program to build state capacity nationwide: establishing a single treasury account system, adopting procurement rules, separating accounting firms from government agencies, promulgating a new Civil Service Law, and more. These dry, technical reforms served to reduce the incidence of fiscal malfeasance and low-level corruption through stronger monitoring mechanisms, but they do not deter business and political elites from exchanging money for power among themselves.

Those who characterize China as a kleptocracy fail to notice an important structural shift: starting around 2000, bribery exploded, but corruption with theft and practices of bureaucratic extortion declined. This reflects nationwide capacity-building efforts paired with the astronomically rising value of political connections in a state-led market economy. As my analysis of prosecutorial data in China’s Gilded Age finds, in 1998 there were twice as many cases of “corruption with theft” than “corruption with exchange,” but by 2014 the two categories had switched places. This temporal pattern is generally consistent with Chinese media reports of corruption: after 2000 complaints about arbitrary extractions of fees and fines and misappropriation of public funds declined, while new concerns about “rent seeking” and “hidden rules” emerged and surged in public discourse. China’s CPI score, which has consistently remained in the moderately high range, obscures crucial changes in patterns of corruption.

A survey of other existing indicators suggest that China indeed has more effectively curbed other growth-damaging forms of corruption (petty theft, grand theft, and speed money) than Indonesia. The UCI finds that Indonesia has a higher score in all categories of corruption than China. In speed money, consistent with TI’s 2017 Global Corruption Barometer, fewer Chinese (26 percent) than Indonesians (32 percent) reported paying bribes to access public services. China also displays higher ease of doing business, in connection with the central government’s efforts to cut red tape and fees. According to the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report, China ranked 46 out of 190 countries, while Indonesia trailed at no. 73.

In other words, China is fiercely probusiness, yet its corruption is so serious that the president himself warned it would “doom the nation and Party” if left untreated. 23 This is not a contradiction because the dominant type of corruption in China is access money—paying political elites for special deals and privileges—which, to capitalists, is an investment, not a tax.

In this and other respects, the closest parallel to China is not contemporary Indonesia (Pei 1999) but rather the United States in the nineteenth century, a period known as the Gilded Age. Both the Chinese and American Gilded Ages are eras of reconstruction following a period of total devastation—namely, the Cultural Revolution in China and the Civil War in the United States. This condition enabled the emergence of a class of nouveau riche and millions of rags-to-riches stories that occur only once in several generations. Both governments also built state capacity alongside the flourishing of money politics. In the United States, this capacity building took place during the Progressive Era (the 1890s to 1920s), whereas in China, a similar program to build a modern administrative state began in 1998 (Ang 2020, chapter 7).

The forms and effects of access money on economic development also appear to vary by stages of market and state building. At early stages of development, acts of transactional corruption among elite players sometimes serve as “credible commitments” by political elites to protect property rights (Haber, Razo, and Maurer 2003) . Again, China provides a good example. During the early decades of market opening, when the rule of law was virtually absent and expropriation risks were high, investors from neighboring countries in Asia were nevertheless willing to invest because many of them shared personal ties of exchange with local officials, dubbed “guanxi” (Xin and Pearce 1996; Gold, Guthrie, and Wank 2002) . Indeed, the common practice at the time was to mobilize entire local governments, regardless of office or rank, to recruit investors and serve as private protectors, with kickbacks from investment as part of the deal (Ang 2016, chapters 1 and 5). During this period, access money was rudimentary (cash bribes in exchange for protection and privileges) and did not create significant financial risks. Accelerated market expansion in the first decades of this century, however, shifted dealmaking toward high-stakes, speculative investment in real estate, leading in China today to hordes of empty apartments and mounting local government debts.

Generally, the risks of access money increase with the “financialization” of the economy, where politically connected players can rig complex, opaque financial schemes for astronomical gains, with minimal or no checks (White 2011; Kocka 2015) . This story of collusion and loose regulations leading to excessive speculation and finally a collapse of the financial system dramatically played out during the 2008 US financial crisis.

In short, does corruption adversely affect growth? It depends on the type of corruption that dominates, which is a function of state capacity, the power and role of government in the economy, and the stage of economic and institutional development.

The study of corruption is often divided into two extremes, between so-called grand and petty corruption (Bussell 2012; Jain 2001; Rose-Ackerman 1999, 2002) . On the one end are macro theories on “political settlements,” “deal spaces,” and “open/limited access order” (North, Wallis, and Weingast 2009; Khan 2010; Acemoglu and Robinson 2012; Mehta and Walton 2014; Pritchett, Sen, and Werker 2017) . This literature provides an essential framework for understanding how the distribution of power affects time horizons and hence the efficacy of development policies. Its focus, however, is exclusively on the preferences of political elites. The assumption is that once elites have worked out certain deals, they can be implemented. Yet as we know from the ample literature on state capacity, developing countries often cannot effectively implement policies or deliver public services even when the leadership really wants to do so (Centeno, Kohli, and Yashar 2016; Andrews, Pritchett, and Woolcock 2017) .

On the other end is an abundance of micro studies on petty or street-level corruption, many involving the use of experiments (Olken 2007; Barr and Serra 2009; Lambsdorff and Frank 2010; Armantier and Boly 2011) . In development, this is augmented by the PDIA (problem-driven iterative adaptation) movement, which focuses on bureaucracies (Andrews, Pritchett, and Woolcock 2017) . This literature sheds light on the causes and dynamics of petty bribery and theft, and conversely, what makes bureaucracies work better. Yet even the most able public administration cannot effect national changes if elites at the helm of power are embroiled in power grabbing.

For a complete picture of development in any country, therefore, we must consider both the “deal spaces” among elites and the “capability” of the public administration. My typology of unbundling corruption encompasses both. Access money is a political issue, shaped by who holds power and how power is applied. Petty theft, speed money, and even embezzlement can be mitigated through capacity building (for example, cashless payments can reduce petty bribes; e-governance can reduce leakage of public funds and make embezzlement easier to detect). Capacity building, however, is not merely a technical task. Practitioners should be reminded that in order to effectively carry out such reforms, they must also be compatible with the interests of political elites. 24

Tying together the macro and the micro requires that we distinguish between preferences and capacity. The study of political elites mainly concerns their goals. Are elites willing to work together and share rents? Will they honor rules of profit sharing? On the other hand, the study of public administration concerns capacity. Is the bureaucracy staffed with qualified technicians who are adequately paid? Are there mechanisms for tracing financial transactions? Evidently, these are two very different sets of questions, but addressing both is necessary for sustained economic growth, which, as Pritchett, Sen, and Werker (2018) point out, is what brings about development.

It is commonly believed that democracies should be less corrupt than authoritarian regimes as democracies provide formal mechanisms of accountability to “kick the rascals out of office” through elections. In addition, the presence of a free media and civil society should help to expose corruption and keep abuses of power in check. Existing cross-national regression analyses, however, find inconsistent results on the relationship between corruption and democracy. 25 As Fisman and Golden explain, one reason for this disappointing pattern is that democratic institutions in poor countries are often weak; for example, vote buying is rampant (Hicken 2011) .

Unbundling corruption points to a different problem with existing cross-national analyses: they have all relied on bundled scores of corruption. As a result, the focus of examination has been on the relationship between democracy and the overall quantity of corruption, rather than between democracy and dominant types of corruption among countries at comparable income levels.

The potential links between democracy and the quality of corruption, rather than only its quantity, is best illustrated by revisiting a comparison of China’s and India’s UCI scores. Although China is the world’s largest autocracy while India is the largest democracy, both are notorious for corruption—but, as I showed, corruption of different types. For a more nuanced comparison, table 4 lists China’s and India’s score on four survey questions, two about speed money and two about access money. Although Chinese citizens do sometimes complain about arbitrary fee extraction and petty bribery, these problems are even more endemic in India. For example, the New York Times reported that hospital staff in India routinely demand petty bribes to deliver even basic public services, from providing wheelchairs to allowing parents to carry their newborns. 26 It is also more common for businesses in India (4.5) than in China (3.5) to pay petty bribes to accelerate the process of obtaining permits, a classic example of speed money.

But although China may have less petty bribery than India, access money flows abundantly in the Middle Kingdom. The scandal of Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo who fell during Xi’s anticorruption campaign, revealed that top Chinese politicians cultivate an extensive clientele network through which massive bribes flow, even if the patron doesn’t personally take bribes. 27 This style of bribery appears more prevalent in China than in India. Plying the family members of political leaders with perks in order to cultivate close ties with them, as Bo Xilai’s saga exposed, is also more common in China.

Why does speed money dominate in India, whereas access money prevails in China? This difference may stem from the two countries’ contrasting political regimes. The system of checks and balances in India’s fragmented democracy gives numerous veto players the power to block decisions but not to unilaterally approve requests or extend deals. As Bardhan (1997, 2010) insightfully illustrates with a quote from a high-level official in New Delhi, “If you want me to move a file faster, I am not sure if I can help you. But if you want me to stop a file, I can do it immediately.” By contrast, in China, power is concentrated in the hands of individual leaders who can waive restrictions and open doors without needing to overcome filibustering.

Corruption impacts not just growth but also inequality, both economic and political. The two types of inequality are inseparable, although the literature and popular discourse tend to focus only on income inequality (Piketty 2014) . On this note, it is worth paying close attention to the UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) in 2019, which promises to go “beyond income” and focus on “inequalities in other dimensions such as health, education, access to technologies, and exposure to shocks” (UNDP 2019) . This expanded conception of inequality appropriately reflects the changing realities of the twenty-first century. I suggest, however, that future extensions of this measure should also address inequalities in political influence, which are inextricably tied to corruption. 28

Unequal political influence takes varied forms across countries. In China, where the rule of law is relatively weak and personal power is concentrated, this unequal influence manifests as “political connections,” ties that private entrepreneurs cultivate with individual elite officials for profit-making privileges. Connected capitalists enjoy more influence and economic advantages than their nonconnected counterparts (Li, Meng, and Zhang 2006; Jia 2016) . 29 On the other hand, in advanced capitalist economies that boast strong formal institutions and rule of law, unequal political influence manifests in lobbying and regulatory capture, through which big corporations and interest groups can legally exert overwhelming influence on policymaking. Because unequal access to political influence profoundly shapes the making of laws and policies, it affects inequality in all other realms.

A focus on unbundling corruption changes not only our responses to questions but also the very questions we ask. When corruption is conceptualized and measured as a score on a single dimension, from 0 to 100, this prompts analysts to ask: Which countries are most corrupt? Are democracies more or less corrupt than autocracies? Does corruption always impair growth? Once corruption is unbundled, however, we raise a different set of questions: Which types of corruption dominate in which countries? At similar income levels, does the type of transactional corruption in democracies differ from that in autocracies? Which types of corruption are most directly damaging to growth and equity? What are the risks and distortions generated by access money?

Creating a cross-national measure for different types of corruption is a necessary step for advancing the literature, both large-n regression analyses and small-n comparative studies. For policymakers, it also provides a crucial aid for tailoring anticorruption strategies to fight particular dominant modes of corruption (OECD 2018; Pyman 2018) , in place of a one-size-fits-all approach. This article presents a theoretical framework for unbundling corruption and a prototype for measuring it. In doing so, I hope this effort invites other researchers not only to improve the measure but also to pay more attention to studying the effects and causes of different types of corruption.


I thank Global Perspectives editor J. P. Singh, Vijayendra Rao, Alan Hudson, Johannes Tonn, Allen Hicken, Mark Tessler, Anne Pitcher, and two anonymous reviewers for valuable suggestions.

Author Biography

Yuen Yuen Ang is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. Previously, she was on the faculty of Columbia University and graduated from Stanford University. She is the author of an award-winning book,  How China Escaped the Poverty Trap  (2016), and a forthcoming (May 2020) book,  China's Gilded Age: The Paradox of Economic Boom and Vast Corruption . Her latest book revisits the relationship between corruption and capitalism by "unbundling corruption" and placing China in comparative-historical perspective with other developing countries and 19th century United States. 

“The World’s Most Corrupt Countries,” New York Times, December 9, 2016.

A prominent example is the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which establishes “legally binding standards to criminalize bribery in international business” (OECD 2008, 22) .

For a review of typologies of corruption, see Bussell 2015. Also see Rose-Ackerman 1978, 1999; Wedeman 1997; Khan 2004; Johnston 2005.

Malaka Gharib puts it more vividly: “Here’s the quick summary: Things are ‘good’ in much of Europe and North America. And ‘very poor’ in much of sub-Saharan Africa.” See “Countries Are Ranked on Everything. What’s the Point?,” NPR, June 14, 2019.

Measurements constitute a form of power by incorporating norms and assumptions that are not explicitly acknowledged, as anthropologist Sally Merry (2016) points out.

Whereas corrupt exchanges involve citizens or businesses giving benefits to state actors in exchange for their favors, clientelism entails state actors dispensing benefits to citizens for their votes or political support (Hicken 2011) .

Recent work on “state capability” focuses on building bureaucratic capacity and the ability of governments to actually deliver services (Andrews, Pritchett, and Woolcock 2017) .

As Collier and Adcock (1999, 539) advise, “How scholars understand and operationalize a concept can and should depend on what they are going to do with it” (cited in Bussell 2015, 35).

According to Wedeman (1997, 460), looting is the most damaging form of corruption as “corrupt officials either consume their illegal incomes immediately or send them abroad for safekeeping.” Likewise, Sun (2004, 110) states that corruption with theft “entails absolute loss for an economy.”

On bribery as a tax or worse than taxation, see Shleifer and Vishny 1993; Bardhan 1997; Wei 2000; Fisman and Svensson 2007.

For details on Global Integrity’s Africa Integrity Indicators, visit their website at .

Global Corruption Barometer, a survey conducted by TI with citizens around the world, focuses on the payment of bribes to access public services, which is equivalent to speed money in my typology.

For critiques of CPI’s methodology and uses, particularly by its creator, Johann Lambsdorff, see “Johann Lambsdorff Retires the Corruption Perceptions Index,” Global Integrity blog, September 1, 2009, .

Gretchen Morgenson, “A Revolving Door Helps Big Banks Muscle Out Fannie and Freddie,” New York Times , December 7, 2015.

Johnston (2005) makes a similar observation. For a nonexhaustive list of influential corruption studies focusing on bribery, see Rose-Ackerman 1978; Besley and McLaren 1993; Bardhan 1997; Ades and Di Tella 1999; Rose-Ackerman 1999; McMillan 2005.

In Shleifer and Vishny 1993, the term “corruption with theft” refers not to embezzlement but rather to bribery that results in a loss of public revenue—e.g., bribing customs officers to waive customs taxes.

But note that the authors subsequently discuss whether corruption should include influence peddling and legal practices.

On why definitions of corruption matter, see Issacharoff 2010; Nichols 2017.

One exception is former lobbyist Abramoff, who was convicted of conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion in an American Indian casino lobbying scandal. See “Jack Abramoff: The Lobbyist’s Playbook,” 60 Minutes, November 6, 2011.

Whyte (2015, 5–7) applies the term “corruption of the strong” in contrast to “corruption of the weak.”

Econometric studies of American companies find a positive, robust relationship between lobbying expenditures, corporate financial performance, and future excess returns (Kim 2008; H. Chen, Parsley, and Yang 2015) .

The same question applies to the literature on the “East Asian Paradox” (Wedeman 2002) , which asserts that corruption in East Asia was characterized by “stable and mutually beneficial exchanges of government promotional privileges for bribes and kickbacks” (Rock and Bonnett 2004, 999) . How do we know that this observation by a particular analyst is correct rather than idiosyncratic? The purpose of an expert survey is to systematically collect responses from a large group of experts, following a structured questionnaire.

Edward Wong, “New Communist Party Chief in China Denounces Corruption in Speech,” New York Times, November 19, 2012.

For example, in China, local government leaders were motivated to enforce capacity-building reforms because curbing predatory corruption helped attract growth and investment, which brought them both financial rewards (in the form of personal rents and graft) and improved promotion prospects (Ang 2020, chapter 3). Conversely, in colonial India, upper castes elites undermined bureaucratic capacity in collecting taxes and supplying public goods as they sought to retain their privileges (Suryanarayan 2020) .

For reviews, see Stephenson 2015; Fisman and Golden 2017.

Celia Dugger, “When a Cuddle with Your Infant Requires a Bribe,” New York Times, August 30, 2005.

Lucy Hornby, “Zhou Yongkang: Downfall of a Patron,” Financial Times, March 31, 2014.

One volume on political inequality considers democracy, class politics, and legislative representation of minorities, yet it contains almost no mention of corruption (Dubrow 2014) .

On the value of political connections in Indonesia, see Fisman 2001, and in Vietnam, see Malesky and Taussig 2008.

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  • Journal of Economic Perspectives
  • Summer 2005

Eight Questions about Corruption

  • Jakob Svensson
  • Article Information
  • Comments ( 0 )

JEL Classification

  • O17 Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements


You are here

Eight questions about corruption.

  • Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University (IIES)

Focus themes

  • Good governance corruption
  • Good Governance
  • Public sector corruption

This paper explores the issue of corruption, its meanings, characteristics, causes and effects. The paper aims to answer the following eight questions about public corruption:

  • what is corruption?
  • which countries are the most corrupt?
  • what are the common characteristics of countries with high corruption?
  • what is the magnitude of corruption?
  • do higher wages for bureaucrats reduce corruption?
  • can competition reduce corruption?
  • why have there been so few (recent) successful attempts to fight corruption?
  • does corruption adversely affect growth?

The paper defers to the often-cited definition of public corruption as the misuse of public office or private gain. The paper also points out that all of countries with the highest levels of corruption are developing or transition countries, many of which are or were socialist states. Furthermore, with the exception of Indonesia, those countries with high levels of corruption are closed economies.

The paper makes the following conclusions regarding further research:

  • there is very little evidence on how to successfully fight corruption; therefore research of corruption should focus on experimenting and evaluating new tools to improve accountability
  • there should be more research on the differential effect of corruption
  • there is little relationship between the relatively large body of literature on how institutions enable corruption, and the relatively small literature on how much corruption actually occurs in specific contexts.

How good is this research?

questions on the topic corruption

Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.

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144 Essay Samples and Topics on Corruption

🏆 best corruption title ideas, 👍 good corruption presentation topics, 💡 most interesting research topics on corruption, ❓ research questions on corruption, 💯 free corruption research title generator.

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  • Business Corruption in the American and Chinese Culture This paper presents ethical issues focusing on business corruption in the American and Chinese culture. Business corruption practices take place in the American and Chinese civilizations differently.
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  • Does corruption grease or put sand in a system’s cogs? The first advantage is that corruption enables a system to avoid bureaucratic structures that would cause delays in the progress of a system.
  • Corruption and Integrity: The Broad Context of Moral Principles One of the approaches in comparing the most and least corrupt is evaluating the economic positions of the countries. Another significant difference between the most and least corrupt countries is in terms of the effectiveness […]
  • Cairo Revolution Against Corruption and Injustice The success of that protest led to the formalization of the movement with a mission to organize and mobilize ordinary people to fight for their rights.
  • Judicial Corruption in Developing Countries It originates from the judges and lawyers who are at the center of the legal systems in Africa. There is a lingering culture of impunity in African leadership that is the primary cause of corruption.
  • Civil Society Role in Combating Corruption Causes of corruption can be summarized as follows: The lack of political will to combat corruption at the leadership level; The weak judicial system and the absence of the rule of law; The weak parliamentary […]
  • What Contributes to the Corruption? Neo-liberalism and corruption One of the major factors that contributed to the apparent rise and spread of corruption and which is a subject of debate is neo-liberalism which started in the 1970s and the 1980s.
  • Public policy on corruption The rationale of the policy The rationale of this policy is to eliminate corruption. Besides, this model will ensure that there is universality when it comes to the application of these policies.
  • The Roles of Vertical and Shared Leadership in the Enactment of Executive Corruption: Implications for Research and Practice Responsibility disposition refers to the tendency of a leader to feel obliged to do the right thing for the welfare of the majority.
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  • Ethical Problems in Corruption The notion that in a court of law, it is normally the suspects’ arguments against the amount of evidenced presented before the courts have greatly contributed to noble cause corruption.
  • Corruption Imagery in R.W. Fassbinder’s “Lola” (1981) It is the second in the said trilogy with The Marriage of Maria Braun being the first and Veronika Voss the last.
  • Addressing Corruption in the Engineering Field I chose this topic because corruption is a moral ill in society, especially among engineers and in the recent past it has led to deadly consequences such as the death of people, destruction of the […]
  • Political Corruption: Least and Most Corrupt Countries This has led to not only following of the laws to the latter but also avoiding the labeling of corruption in their work place.
  • The Film ‘Chinatown’ and Corruption in the American Society One of the ways through film directors can achieve this objective is to focus on the political issues in the society. According to Kavanagh, ‘Chinatown’ is one of the films that highlight the social and […]
  • Essay on Corruption, Its Causes, and Effects However, people have used political activities and offices to advance their gains and neglect the need to be accountable and responsible to the public.
  • Political Corruption as a Trigger of Democracy Hence, the development of the political systems invites more active voters who contribute to the development of the democratic principles. Therefore, the democratic influence on political power is closely associated with the development of the […]
  • Political Corruption in the Airline Industry The cartoon relates to this in that the two nationals may have used corrupt means to avoid security checks, and the pilot also had a personal political affiliation which may have caused him to divert […]
  • Mexican Political Parties Role in Corruption and Insecurity The top political brass of Mexico is to blame for the misfortunes in the country. This separation led to reduced influence of the church in political activities.
  • Corruption and Ethics in China’s Banking Sector The ranking of China among the most corrupt countries is illustrative of the rampant corruption both in the state and in the private sector. In America, corruption is a civil tort and perpetrators of the […]
  • Political Corruption: Causes, Consequences and Strategies The ethics of the process deals with the methods that public officials apply in the execution of their duties. Political corruption exists in all countries and harms their systems of economic and political governance through […]
  • Corruption and Accountability of Police Work In this regard, lack of strong and proper policies on misconduct and unethical behavior in the line of duty has helped to perpetrate the corruption of law enforcement officers in various sectors of their work.
  • Excessive Business Regulations and Corruption For the purpose of the paper, business regulation is taken to mean the laws and institutions established by governments to govern the establishment of businesses either by local citizens and companies or by foreign investors.
  • Sociology: Is Guanxi Corruption? In China, Guanxi has been in use for a very long time and has been socially accepted as a way of life, both in the day-to-day activities and also in business practices.
  • Corruption and Corporate and Personal Integrity Bribery, embezzlement of funds and illegitimate procurement always impose extra and unjustified costs to the cost of acquiring public services and damages the credibility of those institutions that are involved in the vice.
  • Corruption in Business Environment For instance, the business environment of China is in the state of transition because of significant changes in political regimes and leaders.
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: United States v. John Blondek, et al. Hence, the description of the chain of events that has led to the indictment, as seen by the Judge: “Blondek and Tull were employees of Eagle Bus Company…they paid a $50,000 bribe to Defendants Castle […]
  • Leadership, Power, Corruption in Today’s Politics The concept of leadership, especially in the political arena is complex and the perception of a good leader differs from one school of thought to another.
  • Corruption in Charity Organizations However, certain rich people avoid paying taxes by giving lots of money to charities in the form of donations. The main reason why some people donate to charities is so that they can win the […]
  • The Acts of Corruption Committed by the Church The purpose of this paper is to list some of the prevalent acts of corruption committed by the church and its followers and to understand the reasons behind them.
  • Global Business: Culture, Corruption, Experiments This paper summarizes the main points of three articles focusing on international business, gives the writer’s respective position and rationale, and provides employer best practices in the specific areas examined.
  • The Corruption Issue in the Contemporary Society Further, pinpointing the necessary aspects that foster the development of the skill besides assessing the influence of faith and spirituality in the reinforcement of the quality would be the concentration of the paper.
  • Corruption and Society: Critical Analysis Because of the latter, the political and social traditions of these societies are built on the beneficial effects of corruption. However, it is a mistake to believe that the social structure of traditional societies will […]
  • Theater of Corruption in “Syriana” by Stephen Gaghan The aim of this paper is to explore the overlapping of oil and politics in the context of the movie. In scene 20 when discussing the negotiations of the prince’s brother with American lawyers, Woodman […]
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  • Public Corruption as a Phenomenon and Explanations Thus, to describe the phenomenon of public corruption, four major hypotheses exist the concept of “slippery slope,” the society-at-large hypothesis, the structural or affiliation hypothesis, and the rotten apple hypothesis.
  • Bribery and Corruption in International Arbitration The tendency towards the globalization created the basis for the improved cooperation between states, companies, agencies, individuals, etc.and preconditioned the shift of priorities towards the global discourse as the most promising mean of cooperation.
  • Corruption in Arbitration in the United Arab Emirates As such, when conducting a research that focuses on corruption and how to deal with it, it is important to have a clearly guided approach of the study that can help in achieving the desired […]
  • Corruption in Russia: IKEA’s Expansion to the East The first problem is associated with the improperly designed ad campaign that was perceived as immoral due to the fact that despite the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the local population preserved its mentality related […]
  • Noble Cause Corruption and Virtue Ethics The answer lies in the purpose and the implied public image of the police. The role of the policeman is to uphold the law dictated by the government and the constitution of the country.
  • American Police Corruption and Its Classification The invention of camera phones gave everybody the ability to document the wrongful actions of police and have undermined the trust people had in the police authority.
  • Private Prisons’ Ethics and Capital-Driven Corruption The promotion of private prisons in the U.S.context was a response to the identified crisis. Even though there is a slight propensity to justify the idea of private prisons as the tools for containing prisoners […]
  • Corruption Shaping Democracies in Latin America This research paper gives a detailed analysis of the nature of this problem and how it affects the welfare of different communities, regions, and citizens.
  • Police Corruption and Citizen’s Ethical Dilemma There are three key stakeholders in the given situation, which are the policemen, who set the terms; the father, who is to take the pivoting decision; and the family, who depends on the decision which […]
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  • Noble Cause Corruption in Officer Employees Therefore, I present this memorandum for you to be aware of the principles of ethical behavior, which are obligatory for every officer, and expect your ethically-sound conduct in the future.
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  • Corruption in the South African Public Sector Studies done have clearly shown that most of the public is fully aware of corruption in South Africa and also that the public is aware of the efforts being made to root out corruption in […]
  • Noble Cause Corruption and Police Misconduct However, the phenomenon is based on a misconception about the purpose of the justice system and the role that the members of the police must play in society.
  • Noble Cause Corruption in Police Officers One might argue that NCC has a reason to exist as it may serve as the means of safeguarding the wellbeing of the members of the community in dire situations.
  • Corruption in Kenya Evolves for a Digital Age At the same time, it is obvious that the interested parties are quick to catch up with the progress regardless of the legality of their actions.
  • International Business: Corruption and Bribery in Latin America In the context of this paper, it could be claimed that in Latin America, the frequency of the occurrence of corruption and bribery tends to rise in response to the malfunction of inherent power mechanisms […]
  • Corruption, Media and Public. Cocalero Documentary However, for the public to act against such cases, the media has to play its role in spreading nonpartisan information concerning the occurrence of corruption in a given area.
  • The Problem of Corruption in Government In addition to officials, citizens are also partly responsible for the existence of corruption as a daily occurrence, therefore, not only senior staff but also the population may be involved in combating bribery.
  • Police Corruption in Russia: Determinants and Future Policy Implications To critically review the present-day situation pertaining to police corruption in Russia To evaluate the effectiveness of measures that Russia currently undertakes to curb police corruption To analyse the main legal, economic, social, and […]
  • Police Reform in Russia: Evaluation of Police Corruption Which individual, institutional, and organizational factors of corruption did Medvedev’s 2011 police reform target, and how successful was it in eliminating the practice of corruption among law enforcement officers in Russia compared to other states?
  • Nissan Corporation’s Corruption Scandal Investigation The key objective of this paper is to discuss this case in terms of business ethics and understand the meaning of Ghosn’s behaviors.
  • Relationship Between Lobbying and Corruption Lobbying can be defined as the act of influencing government leaders for the alteration of law or the creation of new legislation that will support the interest of a particular group or organization. The basis […]
  • Causes of Corruption in a Country One of the major causes of corruption in a country is the poor design of policies and laws that are being implemented by the government.
  • Corruption of Government in Church Some people argue that that most of the actions of the church in the course of its development cannot be regarded as corruptive whereas others state that the desire of the church to enrich itself […]
  • African Corruption and Sapolsky’s “A Primate’s Memoir” The preservation of the wildlife is necessary in order to ensure that the animals are protected from being killed hence they do not become extinct as many other animals have furnished due to lack of […]
  • Corruption in Nigeria: How to Solve the Issue This paper will discuss the causes of corruption and the reasons why a strong corruption is viewed in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A bureaucratic corruption is a form of corruption which is primarily seen […]
  • Corruption and Integrity: The Analysis of the Corruption System in the World In the territory of the Middle East this country takes the first place in corruption; the analysis of the corruption issues in the country carried out based on recent tragedy happening to Radhi al-Radhi being […]
  • Robert Bolt “A Man for All Seasons”: Corruption Theme The 16th century was a period of political conflict and corruption in England; the theme is presented through the statesman Thomas More who is considered to participate in the struggle between the state and the […]
  • Latin America: Administrative Reforms and Corruption The government agenda incorporated research agenda in 1995 with the shared but conflicting leadership between the presidency of the council of ministers with whom the emphasis was placed on the organizational and management aspects of […]
  • Police Corruption in “The Detonator” by Wesley Snipes Judging by the content of high-level corruption within the police as exhibited in the movies, it is only reasonable to say that police have deviated from their traditional role of being the custodians of social […]
  • Corruption and Ways to Prevent Its Occurrence Power is the authority and ability to control. Emotional intelligence is the capacity and ability to integrate, assess and manage feelings of self or of others.
  • Touch of Evil: The World of Drug Lords and Corruption Janet Leigh, who is considered to be an outstanding American actress of the 50s, perfectly played one of the leading roles in the movie, the role of Susan Vargas.
  • Corruption and Integrity in Modern World The difference in the levels of corruption in these countries is a result of different parameters and at the same time, the effects are diverse.
  • Public Corruption as a Cultural Tradition This means that corruption as a wider topic of concern to most people has its roots in the cultural aspect of socialism and formed a fundamental aspect of the cultural aspect of human life.
  • Public Corruption and Its Impact on the Economy Corruption is in itself a very negative aspect that impedes the economic growth of the affected country, or organization irrespective of the status of development.
  • Anti-Corruption Strategies in Kazakhstan On the backdrop of the notion that corruption is an international issue of concern5, the aim of this paper is to evaluate the success of anti corruption strategies in Kazakhstan.
  • Corruption of Public Officials It has been identified that individuals of the upper class also commit crime by the virtue of the positions that they hold and the trust and power that is vested to them.
  • Institutional Corruption: Praise the Lord Club For example, in the case of bribery, the crime is fuelled both by the person who asks for the bribe and the one who pays it out.
  • Elite Squad 1&2: The Theme of Corruption The media sugarcoats the drug lords and extorts their reporting of the events in the Rio’s crime and corruption as seen in the film “Elite Squad 2” instead of exposing the truth.
  • Noble Cause Corruption – A Crime-Fighting Sub-Culture The term Noble Cause Corruption refers to a crime-fighting sub-culture that involves the law enforcement members being engaged in activities that would otherwise be considered criminal or unethical for the purposes of the greater good […]
  • Police Corruption, Misconduct and Brutality: When a Good-Cop-Bad-Cop Routine Goes Wrong The given cases show that, sadly enough, power abuse among the members of the police department is still an issue, and it is probably going to be as long as the means to coordinate the […]
  • Agency Interaction and Police Corruption One of the officers told me that I do not need to pay for my food at this restaurant because the owners give it free to the police officers.
  • The Corruption of the Catholic Church in Chaucer’s Works Using the central theme of religious hypocrisy, Chaucer successfully used the Pardoner, the Friar, and the Summoner characters to expose the church representatives’ corruption and evil practices.
  • Corruption in Kuwait: Analysis of Different Aspects of Kuwait’s Corruption Kuwait is a nation that is affected by corruption cases, and it is one of the states in the world that are highly corrupt.
  • Ethical Issues Related to the Internal Corruption In such regard corruption appears to be a considerably controversial ethical issue, as it is closely linked with the aspects of loyalty and trust.
  • Public Corruption and Embezzlement For a party to be guilty of an offense, the elements of the guilty mind and the actual commission of the crime must be present.
  • Corruption During Disaster Relief One of the most notable elements about most of the disasters that have been documented in various parts of the world is lack of adequate preparation in case of their occurrence.
  • The Effects of Corruption in Politics on Economics Developed countries report a low level of corruption and tend to be more reliable and financed from the outside. In contrast, the absence of corruption indicates the ensured economic growth and prosperity.
  • A Moderate Approach of Treating Corruption Propositions The more corruption is entrenched in the government, the more difficult it is for businesses to exist in conditions of local competition with other corrupt officials.
  • Ethical Issue: Public Corruption The theory of ethical formalism that is represented in the works of Immanuel Kant and John Rawls argues that “the only thing truly good is goodwill, and that what is good is that which conforms […]
  • Corruption: What Everyone Needs to Know Besides, the poor personnel policy of the state permits the spread of corruption and opportunities for promotion independent of the actual results of the employees’ activity.
  • Noble-Cause Corruption Prevention In conclusion, it is difficult to restrict noble-cause corruption, and the only way to affect its outcomes is to promote the right values among police officers.
  • Police Corruption: A Crime With Severe Consequences Police corruption is a severe crime that can lead to adverse consequences for the officer-criminals and society. The documentary “Seven Five” shows the story of one of the most criminal police officers Michael Dowd.
  • Corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo This is a comprehensive report published by the IMF that examines in tremendous detail the corruption, policy, and frameworks of governance and corruption in the DRC.
  • Corruption in Infrastructure of the Democratic Republic of Congo The mining companies are negatively affected by rampant corruption and a culture of everyday transactions, which has resulted in the misappropriation of public funds.
  • Corruption in Education: Opposition and Refutation Therefore, corruption in the educational sector is not the absolute cause of poor education and increased social problems in the DRC.
  • How Corruption Violates Fundamental Human Rights of Citizens This essay seeks to establish how corruption leads to breach of fundamental human rights of citizens and determine which rights in particular are mostly risky due to corruption.
  • The Police Culture and Corruption Goal misalignment between the community and police occurred as a result of militarized police starting to view themselves as armies battling on the front lines of war instead as public servants.
  • The Key Challenges of Detecting and Prosecuting Corruption in Law Enforcement However, while this is true to some extent, the truth is that the lack of international anti-corruption law, geopolitical considerations, inefficiencies and inherent weaknesses of the Magnitsky Act, opaque banking industries in some countries, and […]
  • Causes of Corruption in Africa’s Developing Countries Corruption is the leading cause of underdevelopment and challenging economic conditions in Africa’s developing countries. Finally, legal and media institutions lack the freedom to practice justice and expose corruption.
  • Corruption in Leading African Companies The research topic is dedicated to the exploration of corporate governance and business ethics within the scope of studying corruption in leading African companies.
  • Corruption in African Region: Causes and Solutions In this regard, the major objectives included investigating the current situation in African organizations, identifying the causes of corruption in African developing countries, studying the impact of neo-patrimonialism on African corruption, and examining unethical business […]
  • Corruption in Bell, Gilchrist County, Florida The main form of corruption, as evidenced in the video, is embezzlement. The second form of corruption evidenced in the video is graft.
  • The Saudi Aramco Company and Corruption The main idea behind the company’s engagement in a public offering is believed to be driven by the need to make Saudi Arabia’s dependency on oil income through diversification of the economy.
  • Topic Statement: Determinants of Corruption in Nigeria Therefore, in this research, I am planning to focus on the empirical part of the topic and attempt to make a positive change in society.
  • Does Competition Kill Corruption?
  • Can Salaries and Re-Election Prevent Political Corruption?
  • Does Corruption Affect Health Outcomes in the Philippines?
  • Did China’s Anti-corruption Campaign Affect the Risk Premium on Stocks of Global Luxury Goods Firms?
  • Does Corruption Affect Income Inequality and Poverty?
  • Are Corruption and Taxation Harmful to Growth?
  • Does Corruption Affect Suicide?
  • Can Corruption Constrain the Size of Governments?
  • Does Corruption Affect Total Factor Productivity?
  • Are Corruption Levels Accurately Identified?
  • Does Corruption Cause Encumber Business Regulations?
  • Can Corruption Ever Improve an Economy?
  • Does Corruption Discourage International Trade?
  • Are Financial Development and Corruption Control Substitutes in Promoting Growth?
  • Does Corruption End the Dominant Party System?
  • Can Corruption Foster Regulatory Compliance?
  • Does Corruption Erode Trust in Government?
  • Are the Law, Democracy, and Socioeconomic Factors Related to the Level of Corruption in the Brazilian States?
  • Does Corruption Ever Help Entrepreneurship?
  • Can Corruption Function as “Protection Money” and “Grease Money”?
  • Does Corruption Facilitate Trade for the New EU Members?
  • Are There Differences Between Perception of Corruption in Public and Private Sector?
  • Does Corruption Foster Growth in Bangladesh?
  • Can India Get Rid of Corruption?
  • Are Top Managers Responsible When Corruption Is Afoot?
  • Can Institutional Reforms Reduce Corruption?
  • Are Women More Likely Than Men to Oppose Corruption in China?
  • Can Openness Deter Corruption?
  • Does Corruption Impede Economic Growth in Pakistan?
  • Can the Exchange Rate Regime Influence Corruption?
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IvyPanda. (2023, October 26). 144 Essay Samples and Topics on Corruption.

IvyPanda. (2023, October 26). 144 Essay Samples and Topics on Corruption. Retrieved from

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1. IvyPanda . "144 Essay Samples and Topics on Corruption." October 26, 2023.


IvyPanda . "144 Essay Samples and Topics on Corruption." October 26, 2023.

IvyPanda . 2023. "144 Essay Samples and Topics on Corruption." October 26, 2023.

IvyPanda . (2023) '144 Essay Samples and Topics on Corruption'. 26 October.

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Research Questions On Corruption

questions on the topic corruption

  • Does Competition Suppress Corruption?
  • Can Re-Election and Salaries Prevent Political Corruption
  • Does Corruption Have an Impact on Health Outcomes in the Philippines?
  • Did China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Influence the Risk Premium on Global Luxury Goods Firms’ Stocks?
  • Does Corruption Have an Impact on Income Inequality and Poverty?
  • Is Corruption and Taxation Harmful to Economic Growth?
  • Does Corruption influence Suicide?
  • Can Corruption Limit the Growth of Governments?
  • Does Corruption Have an Impact on Total Factor Productivity?
  • Are Corruption Levels Correctly Determined?
  • Does Corruption Impair Business Regulations?
  • Can Corruption Ever Help the Economy?
  • Is Corruption a Barrier to International Trade?
  • Are Financial Development and Corruption Control Effective Growth Promoters?
  • Does Corruption Bring an End to the Dominant Party System?
  • Is it Possible for Corruption to Promote Regulatory Compliance?
  • Is Corruption Undermining Public Trust?
  • Are Law, Democracy, and Socioeconomic Factors Related to Corruption Levels in Brazilian States?
  • Is Corruption Ever Beneficial to Entrepreneurship?
  • Can Corruption Serve as “Protection Money” or “Grease Money”?
  • Does Corruption Make Trade Easier for New EU Members?
  • Is There a Difference in Perceptions of Corruption in the Public and Private Sectors?
  • Does Corruption Promote Economic Growth in Bangladesh?
  • Can India Eliminate Corruption?
  • Is Top Management Accountable When Corruption Occurs?
  • Institutional Reforms: Can They Reduce Corruption?
  • Are Men Less Likely Than Women to Oppose Corruption in China?
  • Can Transparency Prevent Corruption?
  • Is Corruption a Barrier to Economic Growth in Pakistan?
  • Can the Exchange Rate Regime Have an Impact on Corruption?

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Conversation Questions Corruption

122 Corruption Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on corruption, 🎓 most interesting corruption research titles, 💡 simple corruption essay ideas, ❓ research questions on corruption.

  • FIFA and Corruption In other words, FIFA is a kind of a football image, and it has to be deprived of various unethical and immoral practices.
  • British Petroleum: Corruption Involving Ethics Economists rate BP previously referred to as British Petroleum as the third-largest oil company in the world. Its locality in London. It merged with Amoco and changed its name to BP.
  • FIFA, Corruption, and Its Effects on Business The paper studies how unethical behavior affects FIFA and how business relates to FIFA will be affected by news and how it can deal with such a situation.
  • Oil, Water and Corruption in Central Asian States The region of Central Asia has been a focus of the world’s political and economic attention due to its rich oil and gas resources. Corruption is the main curse of Central Asian states.
  • Cause of Corruption in Nigeria and Solution of the Problem Political bribery and economic corruption are the two major ways in which public resources in Nigeria are abused by individuals in influential positions.
  • The Government of Bangladesh: Corruption and Poverty This paper describes how constitutional, economic, educational, and legal reforms can eradicate absolute poverty and corruption in a developing country such as Bangladesh.
  • Police Corruption: Understanding and Preventing Police corruption remains one of the leading challenges, affecting law enforcement agencies in the United States and around the world.
  • Criminal Profiling and Police Corruption Police integrity is a complicated issue that can be solved by increased oversight and improved screening of candidates.

  • Corruption in “Motives and Thoughts” by Lauren Hill The poem “Motives and Thoughts” by Lauren Hill discloses a distinctive way of life in many societies. It is evident that corruption is a significant meaning of the poem.
  • Corruption in Third World Countries Corruption is one of the major causes of underdevelopment in developing states. It is viewed as misappropriation of public funds.
  • President’s Speech on the High Levels of Corruption Corruption leads to the destruction of a person’s morals and ethics and would increase people’s hatred towards that person.
  • Political Corruption and Solutions The phenomenon of corruption in politics affects the well-being of citizens since it creates an environment in which their rights are systematically abused.
  • Intelligence-Led Policing: A Proactive Approach to Combating Corruption Legal theorists and practitioners have popularized the new approach, intelligence-led policing, that raised the hopes about addressing the pending issues.
  • Corruption in Developing Countries – a Cultural Phenomenon This paper analyzes the way corruption has penetrated societies in developing countries, the factors and how they have combined to influence corruption in developing countries.
  • Criminal Justice Ethics: Police Corruption & Drug Sales The growth of police corruption instances involving drug sales is relatively easy to explain. The financial rewards offered by the sales of illegal drugs are enormous.
  • Corruption in The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness is a story written by Conrad, first appeared as three-part series in Blackwood’s Magazine. It is known for its frame story or a story within the story format.
  • Stopping Corruption in USA Government Agencies The paper is intended to work out the reasons for corruption in the US government, its development in modern society along with main features, and the ways of proper suppression.
  • The Problem of Corruption for the Economic Development of Countries The paper attempts to compare the most and the least corrupt countries and the trends in these countries as far as issues of corruption are concerned.
  • Quiet Corruption’ Impedes African Development The article objectively and clearly outlines many of the common day challenges facing many developing countries, especially those found in Africa.
  • Ethics in Government. Zhang’s “Corruption” Article In this paper, the article “Corruption: Challenges of Anti-Corruption in the US” by Yahong Zhang will be analyzed.
  • Mafia and Corruption in Russia Keeping in mind that politics is dirty game, one should expect the equilibrium to shift each time a new regime comes into power.
  • Police Corruption in California The analysis of the information proves that police corruption in California depends on the work and social environment of police officers.
  • The Link Between Drug Abuse and Corruption This paper discusses that drug abuse and corruption deserve attention. It introduces causes and reasons for drug abuse and corruption.
  • Legal Corruption: Cases Practice Representatives of the US Administration and Congress come up with accusations of corruption against other states and their leaders regularly.
  • Public Corruption in the Field of Criminal Justice Corrupt judicial and policing systems hinder the success of anti-corruption efforts in various states. The extreme effects of corruption undermine the rule of law.
  • Corruption as a Problem in Public Administration Corruption is a problem in public administration that implies adverse results. This problem statement denotes that an effective measure to address the issue is required.
  • Money Laundering, Corruption and Terrorism Issues Money laundering, corruption and terrorism are rife in East and Southern Africa is largely attributed to the abject poverty that at times seems to be endemic.
  • “The River and the Corruption of Memory” by Khan “The River and the Corruption of Memory” addresses water sources such as rivers, reservoirs, and lakes as a social fact that connects the diverse domains of life.
  • Noble Cause Corruption in Law Enforcement: Ethical or Not? The paper discusses noble cause corruption in law enforcement which unethical because it brings more harm than good to the community if examined from different ethical theories.
  • Corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo While world economies are affected by a range of problems, some have remained entrenched in countries, impending national and regional growth.
  • Corruption: The Global Problem Corruption is a global problem that needs urgent attention. The problem is more prevalent in developing countries, necessitating intervention from politically stable nations.
  • Corruption in South Africa’s Healthcare Sector Corruption is the abuse of power entrusted to an individual or organization for undue financial, physical, or non-physical gains.
  • Governance and Corruption in Developing Countries This research paper examines the problem of corruption in developing countries and the role of governance in countering corruption.
  • Causes of Corruption in Africa’s Developing Countries The major goal of this research project is to contribute to the solution of the problem of bribes and kickbacks in corporations that create a significant corruption challenge.
  • Corruption in the African Countries The general idea of the research is to conclude the corruption aspect in African countries by using business models like management, financing, economics, and business ethics.
  • Corruption in Africa’s Developing States This report shows that most African countries do not have demanded transparency levels to control the spread of corruption and stop its further evolution.
  • Corruption in Africa: Causes and Solutions This research is essential since it aims to consider all factors contributing to the onset and strengthening of corruption in Africa and find ways to overcome them.
  • Active and Passive Corruption: Theory and Evidence
  • Anti-human Trafficking Policy Compliance: The Role of Corruption
  • Bureaucrats’ Corruption and Competition in Public Administration
  • Anti-corruption Versus Political Security: Reflection on the Vietnamese Context
  • Civic Engagement and Corruption in 20 European Democracies
  • Chaucer and Corruption Within the Catholic Church
  • Wages and Sanctions Against Hierarchical Corruption
  • Bipolar Multicandidate Elections With Corruption
  • Corruption and Tax Morale in Africa
  • Utilities Reforms and Corruption in Developing Countries
  • Trade Liberalization, Corruption, and Software Piracy
  • China’s Problems With Economy and Corruption in Politics
  • Bureaucratic Corruption and Endogenous Economic Growth
  • Consumerism, Corruption, and the Corporate Hegemony
  • Corruption and Religion Adding to the Economic Model
  • Cheating and Corruption: Evidence From a Household Survey
  • Anti-corruption Campaigns and Corporate Information Release in China
  • The Influence of Corruption and Democracy on Economic Growth
  • The Westminster System and Corruption
  • Corruption and Firm Financial Performance: New Evidence From Vietnam
  • The Relationship Between Corruption and Human Trafficking
  • Consumers’ Complaints, the Nature of Corruption, and Social Welfare
  • Corruption and the Efficiency of Capital Investment in Developing Countries
  • Bribery, Corruption, and Bureaucratic Hassle: Evidence From Myanmar
  • Corruption and Legislature Size: Evidence From Brazil
  • Corruption and Growth: Evidence From the Italian Regions
  • Voter Heterogeneity and Political Corruption
  • Anti-corruption Policies and Programs: A Framework for Evaluation
  • Corruption and Ethics and Integrity Enforcement Agencies
  • Casual Police Corruption and the Economics of Crime
  • Colonialism, Elite Formation, and Corruption
  • Bank Supervision and Corruption in Lending
  • Corruption and Firm Behavior: Evidence From African Ports
  • Victorian Era: The Start of Corruption in Moral Values
  • Corporate Fraud, Greed, Corruption, and Ethics
  • Corporate America and the Corruption Within the Hip Hop
  • Third World Countries and Corruption
  • Corruption and Bureaucratic Structure in a Developing Economy
  • Conceptual and Theoretical Understanding of Corruption in Nigeria
  • Bank Income Smoothing, Institutions, and Corruption
  • Corruption and Its Impact on Growth, Business, and Government Effectiveness
  • Combating Corruption for Accelerated Development
  • Village Election and Corruption
  • Black Market Activities and Corruption in Pakistan Politics
  • Bureaucratic Corruption and Macroeconomic Performance
  • Corruption and Economic Development in Energy-Rich Economies
  • Corruption and Economic Growth in Nigeria (1980-2013)
  • Corruption and the Composition of Public Spending in the United States
  • Banana Trade and the Corruption of the Banana Industry
  • Anti-corruption Agencies: Rhetoric Versus Reality
  • Climate, Diseases, and the Origins of Corruption
  • Bueroctacies and Its Corruption Within Our Government
  • Auctions and the Dynamics of Corruption
  • Caste, Corruption, and Political Competition in India
  • Corruption and Air Pollution in Europe
  • Corruption and Agricultural Trade
  • Administrative Corruption and Taxation
  • Canterbury Tales and the Corruption of Church
  • Vast Corruption and Exploitation in the 21st Century
  • Underground Economy and Corruption
  • How Does Corruption Affect the Economy?
  • What Are the Political Effects of Corruption?
  • Why Is It Important to Stop Corruption?
  • How Does Political Corruption Affect Society?
  • Which Country Has Highest Corruption?
  • How Does Corruption Affect Human Rights?
  • What Does Corruption Mean in History?
  • Is Corruption a Moral or Legal Issue?
  • What Are the Causes and Effects of Corruption?
  • How Does Government Corruption Affect Society?
  • What Is the Most Common Form of Police Corruption?
  • Does Corruption Affect Poverty in Africa?
  • What Is the Effect of Corruption on the Economy?
  • How Does Corruption Take Place in Conflict of Interest?
  • In What Two Ways Does Corruption Affect Poverty?
  • What Are the Three Forms of Corruption?
  • Does Corruption Affect Economic Development?
  • Why Is Corruption an Economic Problem?
  • How Does Corruption Affect the Growth of the Economy?
  • What Is the Impact of Corruption on Human Life?
  • How Does Corruption Affect Sustainable Development?
  • What Are the Consequences of Corruption on Business and Economy?
  • How Does Corruption Affect the Performance of Our Country in Regards to Development?
  • Does Economic Growth Reduce Corruption?
  • How Can a Company Prevent Corruption?
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TOP-5 Corruption Research Topics

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StudyCorgi. (2023, September 12). 122 Corruption Essay Topics. Retrieved from

StudyCorgi. (2023, September 12). 122 Corruption Essay Topics.

"122 Corruption Essay Topics." StudyCorgi , 12 Sept. 2023,

1. StudyCorgi . "122 Corruption Essay Topics." September 12, 2023.


StudyCorgi . "122 Corruption Essay Topics." September 12, 2023.

StudyCorgi . 2023. "122 Corruption Essay Topics." September 12, 2023.

StudyCorgi . (2023) '122 Corruption Essay Topics'. 12 September.

These essay examples and topics on Corruption were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

The essay topic collection was published on March 1, 2022 . Last updated on September 12, 2023 .

Essay on Corruption for Students and Children


500+ Words Essay on Corruption

Essay on Corruption – Corruption refers to a form of criminal activity or dishonesty. It refers to an evil act by an individual or a group. Most noteworthy, this act compromises the rights and privileges of others. Furthermore, Corruption primarily includes activities like bribery or embezzlement. However, Corruption can take place in many ways. Most probably, people in positions of authority are susceptible to Corruption. Corruption certainly reflects greedy and selfish behavior.

Essay on Corruption

Methods of Corruption

First of all, Bribery is the most common method of Corruption. Bribery involves the improper use of favours and gifts in exchange for personal gain. Furthermore, the types of favours are diverse. Above all, the favours include money, gifts, company shares, sexual favours, employment , entertainment, and political benefits. Also, personal gain can be – giving preferential treatment and overlooking crime.

Embezzlement refers to the act of withholding assets for the purpose of theft. Furthermore, it takes place by one or more individuals who were entrusted with these assets. Above all, embezzlement is a type of financial fraud.

The graft is a global form of Corruption. Most noteworthy, it refers to the illegal use of a politician’s authority for personal gain. Furthermore, a popular way for the graft is misdirecting public funds for the benefit of politicians .

Extortion is another major method of Corruption. It means to obtain property, money or services illegally. Above all, this obtainment takes place by coercing individuals or organizations. Hence, Extortion is quite similar to blackmail.

Favouritism and nepotism is quite an old form of Corruption still in usage. This refers to a person favouring one’s own relatives and friends to jobs. This is certainly a very unfair practice. This is because many deserving candidates fail to get jobs.

Abuse of discretion is another method of Corruption. Here, a person misuses one’s power and authority. An example can be a judge unjustly dismissing a criminal’s case.

Finally, influence peddling is the last method here. This refers to illegally using one’s influence with the government or other authorized individuals. Furthermore, it takes place in order to obtain preferential treatment or favour.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Ways of Stopping Corruption

One important way of preventing Corruption is to give a better salary in a government job. Many government employees receive pretty low salaries. Therefore, they resort to bribery to meet their expenses. So, government employees should receive higher salaries. Consequently, high salaries would reduce their motivation and resolve to engage in bribery.

questions on the topic corruption

Tough laws are very important for stopping Corruption. Above all, strict punishments need to be meted out to guilty individuals. Furthermore, there should be an efficient and quick implementation of strict laws.

Applying cameras in workplaces is an excellent way to prevent corruption. Above all, many individuals would refrain from indulging in Corruption due to fear of being caught. Furthermore, these individuals would have otherwise engaged in Corruption.

The government must make sure to keep inflation low. Due to the rise in prices, many people feel their incomes to be too low. Consequently, this increases Corruption among the masses. Businessmen raise prices to sell their stock of goods at higher prices. Furthermore, the politician supports them due to the benefits they receive.

To sum it up, Corruption is a great evil of society. This evil should be quickly eliminated from society. Corruption is the poison that has penetrated the minds of many individuals these days. Hopefully, with consistent political and social efforts, we can get rid of Corruption.

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F.B.I. Raid of Adams Ally Brings Corruption Question to Mayor’s Doorstep

Mayor Eric Adams has faced ethics issues for years. A raid of his chief fund-raiser’s home poses a serious threat.

Eric Adams stands at a lectern and gestures with his left hand.

By Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Jeffery C. Mays

Even as Eric Adams completed his rise in New York City politics and became mayor, questions remained over ethical issues and his ties to people with troubling pasts.

His fund-raising tactics have repeatedly pushed the boundaries of campaign-finance and ethics laws. His relationships with his donors have drawn attention and prompted investigations. Some donors and even a former buildings commissioner have been indicted .

Mr. Adams, a moderate Democrat in his second year in office, has not been implicated in any misconduct, but a broad public corruption investigation involving his chief fund-raiser and his 2021 campaign has drawn the mayor even closer to the edge.

On Thursday, federal agents conducted an early-morning raid at the Brooklyn home of Brianna Suggs , Mr. Adams’s top fund-raiser and a trusted confidante. The inquiry is focusing on whether the mayor’s campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations.

Mr. Adams, who typically takes great pains to distance himself from any investigation of people in his outer circle, took the opposite tack on Thursday.

He abruptly canceled several meetings in Washington, D.C., where he was scheduled to discuss the migrant crisis with White House officials and members of Congress, and returned to New York.

Appearing at Gracie Mansion on Thursday night, Mr. Adams said he wanted to be “on the ground” to “look at this inquiry” as it unfolded.

His decision to return risked leaving the impression that he placed more importance on the investigation than the migrant crisis, and political experts said the mayor had allowed the raid to distract him from addressing a key policy goal.

“The timing is not great for the mayor because he’s been very clear that the city needs a lot more funding from the federal government,” said Christina Greer, a political science professor who is currently a fellow at the City College of New York. “This was an opportunity for him, literally and symbolically, to be in Washington with his tin can demanding more funds for New York.”

The mayor prizes loyalty and has a close inner circle of top advisers , many of whom are expected to work on his re-election campaign. Ms. Suggs, 25, is particularly valued: She is close with Ingrid Lewis-Martin , the mayor’s longtime aide, and she has helped Mr. Adams raise millions of dollars .

She claimed to have helped bring in more than $18 million to his 2021 campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile, and more than $2.5 million to his 2025 campaign, according to campaign finance records.

The mayor’s impressive fund-raising haul was designed, in part, to discourage potential Democratic primary challengers from entering the 2025 race, even though he is unpopular with many liberal and progressive Democrats who have started searching for a strong candidate to run against him from the left .

The 2025 mayoral race is still relatively far away, but the raid and investigation could encourage candidates to seriously consider challenging Mr. Adams, said Basil Smikle, director of the Public Policy Program at Hunter College, who served as campaign manager for a rival mayoral candidate in 2021.

“The question has always been how close the scandal is to the mayor, and this is getting pretty close — that could be a concern for him,” Mr. Smikle said.

“If there’s still lingering concerns, it could open the door for a progressive challenger and, quite frankly, for a moderate Republican or independent challenger as well,” he said.

Indeed, on Thursday, Evan Roth Smith, a political consultant who worked on Andrew Yang’s 2021 mayoral campaign, posted on social media: “2025 starts today.”

Mr. Roth Smith said in an interview that the raid had created a “radically different picture” of the coming race and that ambitious politicians might be giving it another look.

That was not the case with Christine Quinn , the former City Council speaker who lost the Democratic primary for mayor a decade ago, and who has entertained thoughts of running for mayor again one day.

“I said I’m not running against Mayor Adams and that hasn’t changed,” Ms. Quinn said. “Obviously the news for the mayor isn’t good,” she added, but she said the ultimate implications were unclear.

A person close to the political operation of Zellnor Myrie, a state senator from Brooklyn, said that interest in whether Mr. Myrie would run for mayor had grown after news of the raid, and that Mr. Myrie had received calls from stakeholders and donors asking if he was seriously considering a campaign.

The mayor’s allies, however, were quick to defend Mr. Adams and urged New Yorkers not to assume the worst.

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, a state assemblywoman who leads the Brooklyn Democratic Party, questioned if the scrutiny of the Adams administration might be racially motivated — a charge that some of Mr. Adams’s supporters have lodged before .

“ I’m concerned about whether these investigations are just targeting him because he’s a Black mayor,” she said. “You have people who try to take people down who are really trying to help the city.”

She added: “I’m not concerned about any wrongdoing on his part.”

Still, the mayor’s ethical issues and ties to people with troubling records go back many years.

As Brooklyn borough president, he took money from developers who lobbied him or won his recommendations for crucial zoning changes.

As a state senator, he became embroiled in a scandal after his committee helped choose a purveyor of video-lottery machines at Aqueduct Racetrack.

One adviser, the Rev. Alfred L. Cockfield II, who manages a political action committee associated with the mayor, pleaded guilty in 1998 to transporting cocaine.

As mayor, Mr. Adams hired David Johnson, a former top aide to Gov. David Paterson whose involvement in a criminal harassment case led Mr. Paterson to withdraw from the 2010 governor’s race.

Mr. Adams has also been linked with a Brooklyn pastor known as the “bling bishop” who was charged with fraud and extortion and to twin brothers who share a criminal history involving money laundering .

His deputy mayor for public safety, Philip Banks III, was an unindicted co-conspirator in an expansive corruption scheme in 2014 ; federal prosectors said he accepted trips and other gifts while a high-ranking police official.

In September, Eric Ulrich, Mr. Adams’s former buildings commissioner, was indicted by the Manhattan district attorney on 16 felony charges, including counts of conspiracy and bribetaking.

Mr. Bragg also indicted six people, including a retired police inspector who once worked and socialized with Mr. Adams, for conspiring to funnel illegal donations to the mayor’s 2021 campaign. Two brothers recently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge in the donor case.

And one of the mayor’s closest advisers, Timothy Pearson, is being investigated over reports that he recently pushed a security guard into a table at a migrant center.

Mr. Adams has said that he does not hold people’s pasts against them, pointing to his own arrest on trespassing charges at the age of 15 as evidence that people evolve.

He has sought to distance himself from Mr. Ulrich’s indictment and the donor scheme, and his campaign has said that it “always held itself to the highest standards.”

The mayor’s predecessor, Bill de Blasio, faced his own swirl of investigations into his fund-raising, though he survived the inquiries and won a second term.

“The question remains: How much corruption is too much corruption for New Yorkers?” Ms. Greer said. “I don’t know if New Yorkers will view this as a witch hunt, the inevitable or something to be concerned about.”

Lincoln Restler, a city councilman from Brooklyn and a frequent critic of the mayor , said he found details of the investigation for which the raid was conducted to be “profoundly disturbing” and was sure that New Yorkers would be concerned and want answers.

“The ethical clouds around the mayor,” he said, “have turned into thunderstorms.”

Emma G. Fitzsimmons is the City Hall Bureau Chief for The Times, covering Mayor Eric Adams and his administration. More about Emma G. Fitzsimmons

Jeffery C. Mays is a reporter on the Metro desk who covers politics with a focus on New York City Hall. A native of Brooklyn, he is a graduate of Columbia University. More about Jeffery C. Mays

Explore Our Coverage of the Adams Administration

Under Investigation: Federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. are conducting an investigation  into whether Mayor Eric Adams’s 2021 election campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations.

Homeless Students: The number of homeless public school students in New York City reached an all-time high  last school year, amid a migrant crisis that the Adams administration has struggled to contain.

Jails Leader: Louis Molina, New York City’s embattled jails commissioner, will be moved to another position  in the mayor’s administration after a tenure in which his failure to reverse the chaos at Rikers Island raised the possibility of a federal takeover.

Robocalls: Adams is using A.I. to reach New Yorkers through robocalls in a number of languages. To the eyes of privacy experts, that is worrisome .

3-K for All: The mayor’s cutbacks in free preschool for 3-year-olds in New York City raise a fundamental question : As even middle-class families struggle to get by, should everyone have access to the program?

Can a city official 'cancel’ a constituent? How a fight over an emoji wound up at the Supreme Court.

Former president donald trump raised a similar question for the high court three years ago after he blocked followers who criticized him on the platform then known as twitter..

questions on the topic corruption

WASHINGTON − James Freed, the manager of a lakeside city in Michigan called Port Huron, remembers the first time the follower posted a comment on his Facebook page. There were no words, just three "weird" smiley faces.

"Creepy," Freed recalled. "When I saw the smiley faces, I knew who this was."

The poster, Freed knew, was Kevin Lindke, whom the local newspaper, describes as a "social media figure." Lindke describes himself as an advocate who "goes after" public officials he believes are "unethical and dishonest." After Lindke criticized Freed's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in another comment, Freed had enough.

And so Freed blocked Lindke from his Facebook page.

First Amendment: How the Supreme Court could upend the internet

That decision now sits at the center of a case before the Supreme Court with potentially enormous consequences for how government officials − from the president of the United States to school custodians − interact with the public online. The dispute between the two men on the shore of Lake Huron could lead to a ruling that sets the terms for how voters nationwide communicate with and criticize public officials on social media.

The smiling emojis weren't creepy, Lindke says. They were activism. And they were protected by the First Amendment.

"That's just him trying to make me look bad," Lindke said. "Everything I'm doing is basically to give a voice to the people who don't have one."

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case, and another raising the same question, on Tuesday.

"Civic dialogue increasingly takes place on social media, but it's a context where the boundaries between what's personal and what's official are much blurrier," said Evelyn Danforth-Scott, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, which is siding with Lindke in the case.

“Getting this distinction right is critical – it ensures that government officials cannot evade constitutional limits like the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause by claiming to be acting in their personal capacity," Danforth-Scott said.

Raccoon and dog pictures: Are they a 'state action'?

Freed created his Facebook page in college, sometime before 2008, and over the years posted about the sort of humdrum of everyday life that billions of people share on the site: the raccoons in his garbage, his dog's birthday, pictures of his family. About a decade ago, Freed reached the site's 5,000-friend limit and converted his account to a public "page."

No other city employees had access to it, and he posted to the site on his own time. Freed retains Twitter and Instagram accounts that are set as private, according to The Times Herald , part of the USA TODAY Network.

"If I thought that this was a public page, not private, I would never have posted photos of my kids. I would never have posted what I ate for dinner, you know?" said Freed, who was hired as Port Huron's city manager in 2014. "I believe more than 80% of the posts are all family stuff."

But it wasn't all family stuff. Sometimes Freed reposted press releases from the city fire department. He occasionally answered constituent questions about city services. The post that really bothered Lindke went up in the early days of the pandemic : a picture of Freed and the mayor ordering takeout from a local restaurant.

"It's a very nice little cafe, but it's a little bit more expensive," Lindke said. "When everyone in the community is trying to figure out how they're going to pay their mortgage and put food on the table, it just rubbed me the wrong way."

The question for the Supreme Court is whether public officials who have their own social media presence are acting in their official capacity when they post to those sites. If a majority of the justices decide that Freed’s Facebook page was part of his government work, then that would trigger the next question, likely to be decided by a lower court: At a time when many Americans interact with public officials online, did blocking Lindke violate the First Amendment?

“The cases focus very narrowly on the question of state action: When is a government official acting as a government official as opposed to a private citizen?” said Alex Abdo, litigation director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. It’s a threshold question but “a very important one,” he said.

The Supreme Court, Abdo added, is “taking it one step at a time.”

How Biden, Trump factor into the 'cancel' case

It's not the first time the question has been raised at the Supreme Court. Three years ago, former President Donald Trump brought a similar case to the justices.

Trump invited the court fight in 2017 by blocking users following his account on what was then called Twitter, now X. Seven users went to court, charging that Trump was seeking to "suppress dissent." A federal appeals court in New York sided against Trump in 2019, but the Supreme Court said in 2021 that the case was moot − because Trump had by then left the White House − and it tossed the lower court's decision aside.

The current case, Lindke v. Freed, is one of several pending before the Supreme Court that examine the intersection of social media and the government. In one set of cases, the court will decide whether Texas and Florida violated the First Amendment with laws that limit the ability of  platforms like Facebook, YouTube and X  to moderate content. In another case, the court will decide whether officials in the White House and federal agencies violated the First Amendment when they  leaned on social media companies to suppress content  about the election and COVID-19.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati sided with Freed last year , ruling that his Facebook page was "personal." President Joe Biden's administration also backs Freed in a brief filed by the Justice Department.

But in another, similar case the Supreme Court will hear Tuesday involving two members of a school board in California, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the voters. The school board members created a public forum with their social media pages, that court ruled, and they violated the First Amendment by blocking parents from posting criticism of the school system on the pages.

Despite the yearslong fight between Freed and Lindke, the two men agree the Supreme Court's opinion, expected next year, should bring needed clarity about how much control public officials have over their social media presence. Both men said they would travel to Washington to watch the justices debate the case.

"At this point, it's not even about me," Freed said.

"Now," Lindke said, "both sides are going to know what public officials can and can't do."

Contributing: Port Huron Times Herald

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Secretary Mayorkas Testimony to Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs

Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas delivered the following testimony at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs on Threats to the Homeland. 

Chairman Peters, Ranking Member Paul, distinguished members of this committee:

In September, the Department of Homeland Security published the 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment, laying out the most direct, pressing threats to our security. Already, in the weeks since the assessment was published, the world has changed. Hamas terrorists horrifically attacked thousands of innocent men, women, and children in Israel on October 7, brutally murdering, wounding, and taking hostages of all ages. In the days and weeks since, we have responded to an increase in threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab-American communities and institutions across our country. Hate directed at Jewish students, communities, and institutions add to a preexisting increase in the level of antisemitism in the United States and around the world. 

As the last few weeks have shown, the threat environment our Department is charged with confronting has evolved and expanded constantly in the 20 years since our founding after 9/11. 

Today, individuals radicalized to violence can terrorize using a vehicle or a firearm. A transnational criminal organization needs only to conceal 2.2 pounds of fentanyl in a commercial truck or passenger car crossing through our land port of entry to kill as many as half a million people. Lone actors and nation-states such as Russia, Iran, and the People’s Republic of China can use computer code to steal sensitive personal information, shut down critical infrastructure, and extort millions in ransom payments. Compromising deepfake images can exploit and ruin the life of a young person. Extreme heat, wildfires, and devastating hurricanes are increasing in frequency and severity.  And our Department’s founding rationale – the threat posed by foreign terrorists using weapons of mass destruction – remains. 

The 260,000 men and women of the Department of Homeland Security work every day to mitigate these threats and many more. I am immensely proud to be here today on their behalf – to discuss the work they do, the challenges they face, and most importantly, the support they require from Congress to do their jobs. Thank you for the opportunity to do so. 

I would like to focus today on two such means of critical, urgent support. 

First, Congress must not allow key DHS authorities to lapse.   

Our Department’s authority to implement the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards expired on July 28. That means the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is barred from inspecting over 3,000 high-risk chemical facilities, identifying who is accessing them and whether they are stockpiling dangerous chemicals. Historically, more than a third of inspections identify at least one gap in a facility’s security. Our counter-drone authority will expire on November 18, challenging, among other missions, the Secret Service’s ability to protect the President and Vice President and Customs and Border Protection’s ability to patrol the Southwest Border and intercept cartel drones ferrying drugs and other contraband through the air. 

Our Department’s Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction authority will expire on December 21. That would hinder our ability to detect biological and illicit nuclear material threats, and safeguard against the use of AI in the development of biological weapons, as President Biden charged us with doing yesterday in his Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence. 

Finally, key elements of our intelligence collection authority under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will expire on December 31. Expiration would leave our country vulnerable to attacks supported by American citizens, and it would cripple our ability to identify and secure American citizens who are the targets of such attacks. 

Renewing each of these four authorities is common-sense, bipartisan, and critical to our national security. This is not a moment to let our country’s guard down. 

Second, we need Congress to allocate sufficient resources to enable our nation’s frontline officers to carry out their difficult jobs and keep the American people safe.   

Two weeks ago, our Administration requested critical, supplemental homeland security funding that would help do just that. This funding package would allow us to more effectively combat the scourge of fentanyl, stem the impacts of historic migration, and accelerate work authorization for eligible noncitizens. This funding will, in short, make a critical difference in our Department’s operational capacity and in our national security.

Ensuring the safety of the American people is a national imperative and a governmental obligation. I look forward to partnering with Congress to deliver for the men and women who keep our country safe. I look forward to working with you to address the threats and challenges America faces today, and in the years to come. And I look forward to your questions.  

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  • Have you ever bribed the police (traffic police also counts!)? How much? Why?
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U.S., European officials broach topic of peace negotiations with Ukraine, sources say

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives to address the 78th United Nations General Assembly in September.

WASHINGTON — U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war , according to one current senior U.S. official and one former senior U.S. official familiar with the discussions.

The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal, the officials said. Some of the talks, which officials described as delicate, took place last month during a meeting of representatives from more than 50 nations supporting Ukraine, including NATO members, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, the officials said.

The discussions are an acknowledgment of the dynamics militarily on the ground in Ukraine and politically in the U.S. and Europe, officials said.

They began amid concerns among U.S. and European officials that the war has reached a stalemate and about the ability to continue providing aid to Ukraine , officials said. Biden administration officials also are worried that Ukraine is running out of forces, while Russia has a seemingly endless supply, officials said. Ukraine is also struggling with recruiting and has recently seen public protests about some of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s open-ended conscription requirements.

And there is unease in the U.S. government with how much less public attention the war in Ukraine has garnered since the Israel-Hamas war began nearly a month ago, the officials said. Officials fear that shift could make securing additional aid for Kyiv more difficult. 

Some U.S. military officials have privately begun using the term “stalemate” to describe the current battle in Ukraine, with some saying it may come down to which side can maintain a military force the longest. Neither side is making large strides on the battlefield, which some U.S. officials now describe as a war of inches. Officials also have privately said Ukraine likely only has until the end of the year or shortly thereafter before more urgent discussions about peace negotiations should begin. U.S. officials have shared their views on such a timeline with European allies, officials said.

“Any decisions about negotiations are up to Ukraine,” Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement. “We are focused on continuing to stand strongly in support of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence against Russian aggression.”

An administration official also noted that the U.S. has participated with Ukraine in discussions of its peace summit framework but said the White House “is not aware of any other conversations with Ukraine about negotiations at the moment.”

Questions about manpower

President Joe Biden has been intensely focused on Ukraine’s depleting military forces, according to two people familiar with the matter. 

"Manpower is at the top of the administration’s concerns right now,” one said. The U.S. and its allies can provide Ukraine with weaponry, this person said, “but if they don’t have competent forces to use them it doesn’t do a lot of good”

Biden has requested that Congress authorize additional funding for Ukraine, but, so far, the effort has failed to progress because of resistance from some congressional Republicans. The White House has linked aid for Ukraine and Israel in its most recent request. That has support among some congressional Republicans, but other GOP lawmakers have said they’ll only vote for an Israel-only aid package.

Before the Israel-Hamas war began, White House officials publicly expressed confidence that additional Ukraine funding would pass Congress before the end of this year, while privately conceding concerns about how difficult that might be. 

Biden had been reassuring U.S. allies that Congress will approve more aid for Ukraine and planned a major speech on the issue. Once Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the president’s focus shifted to the Middle East, and his Ukraine speech morphed into an Oval Office address about why the U.S. should financially support Ukraine and Israel.

Is Putin ready to negotiate?

The Biden administration does not have any indication that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to negotiate with Ukraine, two U.S. officials said. Western officials say Putin still believes he can “wait out the West,” or keep fighting until the U.S. and its allies lose domestic support for funding Ukraine or the struggle to supply Kyiv with weapons and ammunition becomes too costly, officials said. 

Both Ukraine and Russia are struggling to keep up with military supplies. Russia has ramped up production of artillery rounds, and, over the next couple years may be able to produce 2 million shells per year, according to a Western official. But Russia fired an estimated 10 million rounds in Ukraine last year, the official said, so it will also have to rely on other countries.

The Biden administration has spent $43.9 billion on security assistance for Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, according to the Pentagon. A U.S. official says the administration has about $5 billion left to send to Ukraine before money runs out. There would be no aid left for Ukraine if the administration hadn’t said it found a $6.2 billion accounting error from months of over-valuing equipment sent to Kyiv.

Public support slipping

Progress in Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been very slow, and hope that Ukraine will make significant advances, including reaching the coast near Russia’s frontlines, is fading. A lack of significant progress on the battlefield in Ukraine does not help with trying to reverse the downward trend in public support for sending more aid, officials said.

A Gallup poll released this week shows decreasing support for sending additional aid to Ukraine, with 41% of Americans saying the U.S. is doing too much to help Kyiv. That’s a significant change from just three months ago when 24% of Americans said they felt that way. The poll also found that 33% of Americans think the U.S. is doing the right amount for Ukraine, while 25% said the U.S. is not doing enough. 

Public sentiment toward assisting Ukraine is also starting to soften in Europe. 

As incentive for Zelenskyy to consider negotiations, NATO could offer Kyiv some security guarantees, even without Ukraine formally becoming part of the alliance, officials said. That way, officials said, the Ukrainians could be assured that Russia would be deterred from invading again.

In August national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters, “We do not assess that the conflict is a stalemate.” Instead, Sullivan said, Ukraine is taking territory on a “methodical, systematic basis.” 

But a Western official acknowledged there has not been a lot of movement by either side in some time, and with the cold weather approaching it will be tough for either Ukraine or Russia to break that pattern. The official said it will not be impossible, but it will be difficult. 

U.S. officials also assess that Russia will attempt to hit critical infrastructure in Ukraine again this winter, attempting to force some civilians to endure a frigid winter without heat or power.

Administration officials expect Ukraine to want more time to fight on the battlefield, particularly with new, heavier equipment, “but there’s a growing sense that it’s too late, and it’s time to do a deal,” the former senior administration official said. It is not certain that Ukraine would mount another spring offensive.

One senior administration official pushed back on any notion of the U.S. nudging Ukraine toward talks. The Ukrainians, the official said, “are on the clock in terms of weather, but they are not on the clock in terms of geopolitics.”

questions on the topic corruption

Courtney Kube is a correspondent covering national security and the military for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

questions on the topic corruption

Carol E. Lee is an NBC News correspondent.

questions on the topic corruption

Kristen Welker is the moderator of "Meet the Press".

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3 Crucial RMD Questions the IRS Needs to Answer

Some of the changes that congress made last year to required minimum distributions are vague, exposing beneficiaries to penalties or big tax bills if they aren’t clarified.

questions on the topic corruption

Leonard Sloane

Nov. 2, 2023 10:00 am ET

When Congress passed the Secure 2.0 Act in late 2022, retirement savers cheered at a host of changes in rules for required minimum distributions from tax-deferred accounts like IRAs. 

Some of the changes are straightforward—such as raising the starting age for RMDs to 75 in 2033 from 73 today and 72 last year (and up from 70½ as recently as 2019). 

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These belongings meant a lot to our parents and grandparents. Do we really have to keep them?

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  1. PPT

    questions on the topic corruption

  2. Corruption Essay

    questions on the topic corruption

  3. How to Eradicate Corruption Essay

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  4. Corruption Speech

    questions on the topic corruption

  5. How to Eradicate Corruption Essay

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  6. Speech on Corruption: With Examples And Solutions

    questions on the topic corruption


  1. POLITICIAN (Corruption)

  2. Corruption

  3. CTET December 2023

  4. power point presentation on topic situation of corruption in Nepal October 1, 2023

  5. Topic on corruption by the student of The Almighty Classes

  6. Department Of Corruption (feat. Flamez)


  1. 272 questions with answers in CORRUPTION

    Questions related to Corruption 1 2 3 Antonio Edmundo Ribeiro asked a question related to Corruption Can corruption in subnational governments be tackled with the introduction of...

  2. Eight Questions about Corruption

    Measuring corruption across countries is a difficult task, both due to the secretive nature of corruption and the variety of forms it takes. However, since corruption reflects an underlying institutional framework, different forms of cor-ruption are likely to be correlated. The past decade has seen an exponential growth in cross-country ...

  3. Unbundling Corruption: Revisiting Six Questions on Corruption

    Shifting our focus of corruption from its aggregated quantity to its quality not only changes our responses to commonly asked questions about corruption, it also prompts new questions. Keywords: democracy, economic growth, measures, influence peddling, bribery, corruption Topics Political Economy, Markets, and Institutions

  4. Eight Questions about Corruption

    This paper will discuss eight frequently asked questions about public corruption: (1) What is corruption? (2) Which countries are the most corrupt? (3) What are the common characteristics of countries with high corruption? (4) What is the magnitude of corruption? (5) Do higher wages for bureaucrats reduce corruption?

  5. PDF Eight Questions about Corruption

    Measuring corruption across countries is a difficult task, both due to the secretive nature of corruption and the variety of forms it takes. However, since corruption reflects an underlying institutional framework, different forms of cor-ruption are likely to be correlated. The past decade has seen an exponential growth in cross-country ...

  6. PDF Module 1 What Is Corruption and Why Should We Care?

    The topics of the Modules were chosen following consultations with academics who participated in a meeting of experts convened by UNODC, in Vienna in March 2017. The experts emphasized the need for increased anti-corruption education ... corruption is a fundamental problem for all nations and all people - perhaps even one of the greatest

  7. Eight questions about corruption

    The paper aims to answer the following eight questions about public corruption: what is corruption? which countries are the most corrupt? what are the common characteristics of countries with high corruption? what is the magnitude of corruption? do higher wages for bureaucrats reduce corruption? can competition reduce corruption?

  8. Ideas about Corruption

    Boss Tweed and Napster show a counterintuitive path forward. Corruption doesn't result from a lack of ethics or knowledge; it's a workaround chosen by people when they have few better options. So what can decrease its lure? New ways to make progress and make money. What's one popular way for criminals to launder money?

  9. PDF Experts and Questions: Exploring Perceptions of Corruption

    Political corruption is a topic that has long resonated in society, politics and academia - indeed, its resonance may be permanent. At the same time, it ranks


    These are some of the questions this topic guide on gender and corruption will address. There has been a considerable amount of research on this topic, generating a number of solid insights (while some open questions remain). Research has confirmed, for example, that women ... GENDER AND CORRUPTION TOPIC GUIDE 5 bribes , and corruption is seen ...

  11. 144 Essay Topics on Corruption + Examples

    Table of Contents 🏆 Best Corruption Title Ideas 👍 Good Corruption Presentation Topics 💡 Most Interesting Research Topics on Corruption Research Questions on Corruption 💯 Free Corruption Research Title Generator We will write a custom essay specifically for you for only 11.00 9.35/page Learn More 🏆 Best Corruption Title Ideas

  12. Anti Corruption Quiz Questions

    The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2003 and entered into force in 2005. As of 11 August 2021, 188 countries are party to it.

  13. Eight Questions about Corruption

    This paper will discuss eight frequently asked questions about public corruption: (1) What is corruption? (2) Which countries are the most corrupt? (3) What are the common characteristics of countries with high corruption? (4) What is the magnitude of corruption? (5) Do higher wages for bureaucrats reduce corruption?

  14. Research Questions On Corruption

    Research Questions On Corruption. Does Competition Suppress Corruption? Can Re-Election and Salaries Prevent Political Corruption; ... Most Interesting Leukemia Essay Topics to Write about. March 27, 2023. By Matthew Lynch. Essay Topics. Good Essay Topics on Political Cartoon. March 9, 2023. By Matthew Lynch.

  15. ESL Conversation Questions

    Corruption Is there a lot of corruption in your country? What businesses have the most corruption in your country? What are some problems with corruption in the political system of your country? Do you think corruption will always be a part of business and politics? What recent corruption scandal was in the news?

  16. ESL Conversation Questions

    Have you ever bribed someone? Do you know someone who has been bribed? Is bribery a big problem in the country where you live? Will you accept a dinner invitation from an important businessman of your city? (He has good connections in the council and you nephew is unemployed.) Would you revert to bribery if your life was at stake?

  17. 122 Corruption Essay Topics & Research Titles at StudyCorgi

    Research Questions on Corruption Our experts can deliver a Corruption essay tailored to your instructions for only 13.00 11.05/page 308 qualified specialists online Learn more 🏆 Best Essay Topics on Corruption FIFA and Corruption

  18. Corruption conversation questions

    A helping (back)hand (er) Favouritism and nepotism, whereby jobs are given to friends or relatives, are also forms of corruption. Are you aware of any such practices? What is the difference between nepotism and cronyism? What is worse: grand corruption or petty corruption? Or both?

  19. PDF Corruption: Causes, Consequences and Cures

    discussion and ongoing debate on the corruption question in the region and around the world. It considers the causes, consequences and international dimensions of corruption, which seem to have generated a lot of public attention in many countries. Thoughts and suggestions on possible remedial measures have also been included as

  20. Debate on Corruption in Favour and Against

    March 7, 2022 by Prasanna Debate on Corruption in Favour and Against Good Morning, honorable judges, respected teachers, my worthy fellow opponents and friends. Today, I ________standing in front of you to oppose my worthy opponent on his/her views on the negative sides of corruption.

  21. Essay on Corruption for Students and Children

    1.1.1 Ways of Stopping Corruption 500+ Words Essay on Corruption Essay on Corruption - Corruption refers to a form of criminal activity or dishonesty. It refers to an evil act by an individual or a group. Most noteworthy, this act compromises the rights and privileges of others.

  22. F.B.I. Raid of Adams Ally Brings Corruption Question to Mayor's

    Mayor Eric Adams has faced ethics issues for years. A raid of his chief fund-raiser's home poses a serious threat. Mayor Eric Adams has been closely monitoring an investigation into whether his ...

  23. A First Amendment question raised by Trump returns to Supreme Court

    It's not the first time the question has been raised at the Supreme Court. Three years ago, former President Donald Trump brought a similar case to the justices. Trump invited the court fight in ...

  24. Secretary Mayorkas Testimony to Committee on Homeland Security

    I look forward to partnering with Congress to deliver for the men and women who keep our country safe. I look forward to working with you to address the threats and challenges America faces today, and in the years to come. And I look forward to your questions. Thank you. ###

  25. Arvind Kejriwal: Delhi chief minister skips questioning in corruption

    Questions of corruption are a sensitive matter for the Aam Aadmi Party, which emerged more than 10 years ago from a major movement against corruption, with Mr Kejriwal described as an "anti ...

  26. EFL/ESL Conversation Questions about Corruption

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  27. U.S., European officials broach topic of peace negotiations with

    U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, according to one current senior U ...

  28. 3 Crucial RMD Questions the IRS Needs to Answer

    By. Leonard Sloane. Nov. 2, 2023 10:00 am ET. When Congress passed the Secure 2.0 Act in late 2022, retirement savers cheered at a host of changes in rules for required minimum distributions from ...