Networks of Corruption: An IMF Conversation With NRGI President Daniel Kaufmann

“Governance is an absolutely and crucial and fundamental input to development and also to growth,” Kaufmann says in this IMF podcast.

NRGI president and CEO Daniel Kaufmann, who co-produces the Worldwide Governance Indicators published by the World Bank, discussed his recent article “Corruption Matters” with the IMF’s Bruce Edwards. Published in September in Finance & Development, the piece discusses the larger themes of governance and corruption in Latin America and elsewhere.

On the podcast, Mr. Kaufmann also explains what he labels the “privatization of public policy”: the subtle conduct of corrupt practices through loopholes and undue influence by very few individuals through campaign finance, also called legal corruption. Such insidious types of corruption call into question whether public policy is for the public good or for the benefits of the few.

He also talks about the opportunity presented for reform by the slump in commodities. Supercycles and boom times, he argues, do not create incentives for major reforms. During a time of low commodity prices, the time to enact changes is opportune. “It’s a perfect storm,” Mr. Kaufmann says. “Tolerance for corruption and impunity are much lower now.”

For the full recording, please listen on SoundCloud or at IMF.org.