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The body of theoretical and empirical research that objectively addresses the problem of corruption has grown considerably in recent years (Elliot 1997; Coolidge and Rose-Ackerman 1997; Gill 1998; Girling 1997; HDC 1999; Kaufmann and Sachs 1998; Mauro 1995; Paul and Guhan 1997; Shleifer and Vishnay 1998; Stapenhurst and Kpundeh 1998; Vittal 1999; World Bank 1997). A preliminary analysis of the literature shows that corruption is recognised as a complex phenomenon, as the consequence of more deep seated problems of policy distortion, institutional incentives and governance. It thus cannot be addressed by simple legal acts proscribing corruption. This paper aims at reviewing the different definitions for corruption in addition to its perceived costs and benefits. Furthermore, in an attempt to measure corruption, the paper will address several theories and models that might help in developing a comprehensive model of corruption.


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