Corruption has never been more prominent in the development debate. Here in the UK, eliminating corruption is at the heart of the Prime Minister’s golden thread, and has been a leitmotif of his government’s approach to aid: we will commit to 0.7%, but we will be tougher on how it is spent.
Clearly, corruption can hurt poor people and increase inequality, and it can lower the returns to development investment. But there are different types of corruption and its effects vary. It can be very harmful in some political and social contexts, while in others its impact might be relatively limited, at least in the short term.