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Incorporating Corruption

Laura Citron at nEUrosis wonders why she hasn’t experienced the high levels of graft and corruption she had so often heard about before going to work in Russia. The reason: most corruption in Russia has been incorporated into the state apparatus.

The economist Pranab Bardhan offers one interesting explanation: in countries with a strong central state, corruption is centralised to the single source of power. You only have to pay once – he calls it ‘one–stop-shopping.’ In a decentralised system, you have to pay bribes all over the place to get the same job done. Perhaps Putin’s policy of strong central government has succeeded in centralising corruption?

Seems like a pretty twisted demonstration of bureaucratic efficiency.