Petty Corruption in Public Services: Driving Licenses in Delhi, India

Hanna, Rema; Bertrand, Marianne; Djankov, Simeon; Mullainathan, Sendhil (2008)


Hanna, Rema, Marianne Bertrand, Simeon Djankov, and Sendhil Mullainathan. 2008. “Petty Corruption In Public Services: Driving Licenses In Delhi, India”. Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2008, 342-344.
While millions of dollars are spent on anti-corruption programmes each year, some analysts still maintain that corruption is nothing more than a tax: the process may be unjust or frustrating but, in the end, it provides goods and services to those who value them the most. Corruption may even ‘grease the wheels’ and speed up an all too cumbersome regulatory process. A study on how driving licences are issued in Delhi, India, finds this view highly misleading and shows precisely how corruption can dramatically alter the consequences of a policy.