Corruption Explained

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Corruption is a sin that many nations suffer from, although most of them do not openly discuss it. In reality, most countries pretend to be free of corruption, even while their economies are plagued by it. Both the private and public sectors are susceptible to corruption. Corruption has afflicted the two industries to varying degrees. It is vital to understand that corruption can be classified as either petty or enormous. The petty level involves little sums of money paid to authorities in exchange for favors, whereas the grand level involves vast sums of money and international corporations.  The different levels do not mean that there is any level of acceptable corruption, but they help the nations distinguish the extent to which a sector is affected. This essay will therefore evaluate the level of corruption in both the public and private sectors in the quest to find out most affected and later come to a conclusion.

Corruption in the Public Sector

The public sector includes different departments such as the military, public roads, public schools, public hospitals, among others. They are institutions, which utilize public resources and funds to provide goods and services to the public with the aim at improving the living standards, rather than making profits (Rose et al., 2016). This level of corruption takes place when government officials take bribes to overlook some rules. It is a way of abusing the public offices and resources, which deprives the government trust from the citizens. Bribes not only happen between public officials and citizens, but also do take place among public officials.

The government officials and elected representatives have occasionally been accused of misuse of public funds and power through corruption. The public is interested in knowing how the officials perform their duties, and hence share information about it. Further, it makes easier for cases of corruption to be known by most people in case they occur in the public sector, unlike in the private sector where the interested stakeholders are fewer (Treisman, 2000).

Corruption in the Private Sector

The private sector comprises of the firms which are privately owned, either in the form of partnerships or individually, with the aim at making profits. Corruption has also penetrated into this sector, although at the level that can be described as petty. It is because most officials in this sector are concerned with the success of firms and not their selfish desires. In most cases, the survival of the private sector firms is a subject to their performance, unlike the public sector. It makes hard for the officials to be engaged in practices that would tarnish the image of the organization (Svensson, 2005). Efficiency and effectiveness have characterized the private sector for an extended period. However, this case is changing due to the increasing rate of corruption. The high rate of privatization has also led to the transfer of some practices that have existed before the transformation took place, among them being corruption.


To conclude, corruption is a vice that should be condemned in the highest way possible. However, the concentration should also be focused on the ways in which the vice can be eliminated from the society. Its presence is evident in both the public and private sectors, with more cases being in the public sector. State governments should therefore put more efforts in fighting it, since its consequences on the economy are dire.


Rose-Ackerman, S., & Palifka, B.J. (2016). Corruption and government: Causes, consequences, and reform. Cambridge University Press.

Svensson, J. (2005). Eight questions about corruption. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(3), 19-42. Retrieved on Summer, 2005 from

Treisman, D. (2000). The causes of corruption: a cross-national study. Journal of Public Economics, 76(3), 399-457. Retrieved on September 7, 2001 from

May 02, 2023

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