Extralegal payments to state officials in Russia, 1750s–1830s: assessing the burden of corruption
This article uses the records of expenditures from a set of estates that belonged to the Golitsyn family to assess the level of ‘routine corruption’ in Imperial Russia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The data from these books allow us to identify individual cases of unofficial facilitation payments made by the estates and by peasant communes to district-level officials; to delimit key types of payment situations; and to calculate the sums expended for payments by a given estate in a given year. The resulting numbers are compared to the overall volume of obligations borne by the serfs to the state and to their landlords. Our conclusion is that while the facilitation payments were ubiquitous and accompanied any interaction with the state, the volume of these ‘routine’ payments (as opposed to other forms of extraction) was quite low and they did not put a significant burden on the peasants, while at the same time securing hefty extra incomes for top district officials. Rather, by the last decades of the eighteenth century Russian Imperial officials at the district level might have switched from a tribute-like extortion from the population at large to acquiring vast sums by collecting unofficial payments in more targeted ways.
The Handbook of Business and Corruption provides an overview of corrupt business practices in general and, more particularly, in different industry sectors, considering such practices from an ethical perspective.
Usually in service systems with bids for proceeding in the queue interactions between players are ignored, and symmetric information is assumed. The aim of this paper is to explore the influence of communication between players on the total amount of bribes. Preliminary results show that under imperfect information interactions in groups and the properties of the utility function and key parameters are relevant for the equilibrium level of corruption in the system.
The fight against corruption enjoys worldwide attention. But how do you measure corruption? Many social scientists rely on quantitative methods. But these have a weakness. They are blind to the particular social and local context in which people use informal practices. Also, not every informal action is corruption. In order to be able to precisely determine the boundaries and to grasp forms and causes of corruption, corruption research should make more use of qualitative methods and approaches of ethnography.