"Corruption in Economic Development"
Wei, Shang-Jin. "Corruption in Economic Development:." World Bank. Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research.
The World Bank defines corruption as, “the abuse of public office for private gains.” When officials misuse their public office title, a public goal is set aside and compromised. The only way corruption can be ineffective toward policy goals is if the public office is already unproductive. Often in countries where giving gifts is culturally acceptable, gifts and bribes can become intertwined. However, according to Wei, there is no evidence to support the notion that corruption in Asia, East Asia included, has smaller negative consequences on corruption.
Researchers found the more corrupt a country is, the slower it will grow economically. Corruption hampers economic development in numerous ways. According to Wei, some of the ways include through reduced foreign direct investment, excess government spending, reduced domestic investment, distorted composition of government expenditure away from health, education, and the maintenance of infrastructure, towards less efficient public projects that have more scope for manipulation and bribe-taking opportunities.
Corruption can cause problems and chaos in society. A country needs to fight corruption in multiple ways. Law enforcement and laws are vital, but countries also need to pay attention to the role of government in the economy. They need to particularly pay attention to areas where government officials have discretionary power which is often the catalyst for corruption. Wei states another way to fight corruption is to recruit and promote civil servants on a merit basis, and pay them a salary competitive to private sector alternatives. This helps to attract high excellence moral public servants. Agencies, such as the World Trade Organization put pressure on fighting international corruption by having high punishments for multinational firms which bribe foreign officials. Ultimately, according to Wei, the success of any anti-corruption campaign depends on the reform of domestic institutions in currently corrupt countries.