In this lesson, we will look at the different reasons why corruption starts and continues to exist.
There are a variety of factors at the country level that have an impact on the way in which governments and their services function, which in turn influences the existence and prevalence of public sector corruption.
You may look at the puzzle below to find some of these reasons. When you find the word, click the first letter and drag it to the last letter to form the word and mark it found.
Research shows that the age, history, and size of a country affects the way corruption spreads and how it is managed. Countries that are geographically large and have a low population density can be more prone to corruption because of the difficulty in monitoring government officials in dispersed locations. Young countries or those that have just acquired independence or have recently transitioned from authoritarian regimes to democracies may also face more corruption because of prior history of rent-seeking behavior from tyrants who wish to keep their power and because they are still developing their governance systems.
Abundance of Resources
Many resource-rich countries are also known to suffer from poor governance becoming more prone to corrupt practices. Natural resources such as oil, gas, minerals, forests, and seas can become highly profitable. Since the government has the monopoly over the allocation and distribution of these resources, people who want to engage in businesses related to these may resort to bribery to ensure political incentives and to escape going through regulatory agencies. On the other hand, government officials are also tempted to keep this rent seeking behavior as it benefits them.
Countries that continue to suffer from politically unstable environments also show high corruption levels. When rule of law and systems of transparency and accountability are not in place, the temptation and opportunity for embezzlement is high. In the same vein, when uncertainty is high, businesses and normal citizens are more willing to resort to bribery and other illegal actions for economic gains.
Failure of governance
Countries that suffer from poor governance are unable to hold their government officials accountable for their actions. Failure of governance could be because of external factors such as history and the current context of the country but it can also be because of internal factors such as lack of competence due to inadequate capacity building. Failure of governance is linked heavily to corruption as there are low levels of transparency in transactions and processes in the public sector.