Friday, April 01, 2011

To Reduce Bribery, Let's Have More Government Servants Competing for our Bribes

India’s chief economic adviser Kaushik Basu, who also teaches at Cornell university, says that the best way to reduce bribery in India is to make bribery legal - giving immunity to bribe givers and punishing bribe takers. to reduce bribery we should make the paying of bribes (not the demanding!) legal.

All this is sure to generate conversation everywhere. I liked this comment on Marginal Revolution, where commenter M. Dutton says let's have government servants compete for your bribe. The idea being when more pigs play in the mud, some more muck is sure to come up for notice.

...Let’s back up – what’s the problem with bribes? If it’s to jump queue when the queue is full, aren’t bribes more efficient? If the bribes are happening when the queue isn’t full (e.g. to get around licensing requirements, as mentioned above) then it sounds like the bribe-takers just need more competition. Could you have multiple independent places issuing the same licenses?
It is classic Catch-22 type of humor.



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