There is general agreement that the world would be a better place without corruption, but there is less general understanding of precisely what constitutes corruption. In Corruption – the World’s Big C, Ian Senior carefully defines corruption and finds that it is all too prevalent, not just in developing countries, but also in the institutions of governments within the European Union. The causes and consequences of corruption are carefully analysed. There are many social and moral problems created by corruption, but from an economic perspective it has to be regarded as a serious impediment to the proper functioning of a market economy. It also has the effect of redistributing wealth away from the poor towards the better-off and towards employees of government.
Ian Senior proposes a zero tolerance approach to rooting out corruption. In particular we should not give aid to the governments of corrupt under-developed countries or use corrupt agencies for the distribution of aid. This monograph reminds us just how widespread corruption is, and of the serious damage it can cause to the development of a market economy and a free society.