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Published Date: Jul 19, 2011


Corruption is the single major impediment to sustainable development and economic growth of a developing country like Pakistan.

This was stated by the economist, Dr Waqar Wadho, of University of Aix-Marseille, France while delivering a special lecture at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.

He maintained that no one would contest that corruption does more harm than good. The title of the lecture was: ‘corruption and development: perspective from economic theory’.

Dr Wadho made theoretical contributions on the endogenous determination of corruption and its repercussions, rationale and cost-effectiveness of incentive based anti-corruption strategy and natural resource.

He discussed various theories with the participants and he came with the argument that corruption depended on the size of unskilled labour force and level of education.

Higher percentage of unskilled labour and low level of education results in surge of corruption. “Corruption is a collusive mechanism, the higher the interaction between government official and public, higher the rate of corruption will be,” he added.

He said that corruptible person’s behaviour not only depended on wages, bribes and auditing but it also depended on the behaviour of his colleagues.

If many of them are corrupt it becomes less likely that the corrupt agent will be identified and punished.

Dr. Wadho also presented his theory explaining why countries rich in natural resources perform poorly in growth and development. He proposed that by increasing access to education and political participation, countries could avoid a poverty-trap.

Although eliminating corruption through incentives may become prohibitively expensive for countries like Pakistan, introducing technology and reducing the human interaction in various government departments could be an efficient way of at least reducing the level of corruption.

He said that in order to avoid collective action dilemma, we need to change the psychology and mindset of public by introducing initiatives against corruption at school and street level.