Addressing Corruption Openly

Abstract

This paper outlines the IMF’s perspective on the economic impact of corrup-tion and experience in helping countries design and implement strategies to address it. Corruption has a broader cor¬rosive impact on society. It undermines trust in government and erodes the ethical standards of private citizens. A holistic, multi-faceted approach is needed—one that establishes appropriate incentives and the rule of law, promotes transparency, and introduces economic reforms that reduce opportunities for illicit behavior. Perhaps the most import¬ant ingredient for a successful anticorruption approach is the development of strong institu¬tions, centered on a professional civil service that is sufficiently independent from both private influence and political interference. Corruption afflicts countries at all stages of development. Indeed, some developing coun¬tries score better on corruption indices than many advanced countries. Corruption has a pernicious effect on the economy. Pervasive corruption makes it harder to conduct sound fiscal policy. Corruption also undermines certain types of public expenditure to the detriment of economic performance.