The researchers stated that equivalents of the DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) in different countries exist to ensure that all drivers are safe. The hypothesis studied was that corruption in this system will produce bad drivers. Guess what? It does!
India was ostensibly selected as corruption is famously and quite openly rife; hence easy to study. Three groups were followed closely, in New Delhi. One used whatever means necessary to get their licence (bribes, hiring agents to take care of the paperwork), the second received driving lessons (which should make them the best drivers) and the third control group used no bribes nor received lessons.
37% of the control group got a licence
45% of the group who took lessons got a licence and
65% of the bribers got a licence and also saved their own queueing time by hiring agents to do the legwork for them.
This largely predictable result was intended as a case study for the effects of corruption on a regulatory system, be it the DVLA or the government. Slate links the findings to the World Bank’s assertion that corruption “among the greatest obstacles to economic and social development. It undermines development by distorting the rule of law and weakening the institutional foundation on which economic growth depends.” [Link]
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Filed in: Culture,Economics,India