Published Date: Jul 19, 2011
‘CORRUPTION MAJOR IMPEDIMENT TO ECONOMIC GROWTH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES’
Corruption is the single major impediment to sustainable development and economic growth in developing countries like Pakistan, said Dr Wadho, contesting the earlier theoretical advocates of development and friendly facet of corruption having examples from real world situations and his own theories. He maintained that today no one would contend that corruption does more ‘harm’ than ‘good’ (if any).
Dr Waqar Wadho, an economist having doctorate from GREQAM, University of Aix-Marseille, France, was delivering a special lecture entitled “Corruption and Development: Perspective from Economic Theory” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Syed Qasim Ali Shah, Director Programmes Development, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) chaired the proceedings.
Dr Waqar, while giving a detailed presentation, talked about his original theoretical contributions to the endogenous determination of corruption and its repercussions, rationale and cost-effectiveness of incentive based anti-corruption strategy and natural resource curse. While discussing various theories he came with the argument that corruption depends on the size of unskilled labour force and level of education. Higher percentage of unskilled labourers and low levels of education result in surge in corruption. He further stated that corruption is a collusive mechanism. The higher the interaction between government official and public is, the higher the rate of corruption will be.
He said that corruptible person’s behaviour not only depends on wages, bribes and auditing but it also depends 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 Waqar 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 can avoid a poverty-trap.
He expressed that although eliminating corruption through incentives may become prohibitively expensive for countries like Pakistan yet 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 further added 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 levels. -PR