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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: Jul 19, 2011


Corruption is the single major impediments to sustainable development and economic growth for developing countries like Pakistan, said Dr Wadho, contesting the earlier theoretical advocates of development friendly facet of corruption with 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” organized 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 on 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 labor force and level of education. Higher percentage of unskilled labour 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 behavior not only depends on wages, bribes and auditing but it also depends on the behavior 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 expensire for countries like Pakistan but introducing technology and reducing the human interaction in various government departments could be an efficient way of at least reducing the level of corruption.