Manifestations and Causes of Civil Service Corruption in Developing Countries

Yemane Desta


This article examines the manifestations and causes of corrupt practices in the civil service of developing countries based on review of theoretical and empirical literature regarding corruption and development.  Among the corrupt practices identified are:  bribery, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, abuse of power, conflict of interest, insider trading/abuse of privileged information, favoritism, collusion with business interests, procurement contract/bid rigging and influence peddling  This article also has identified the main underlying causes of corruption in the civil service of developing countries to be politicization of the civil service, poor pay, lack of accountability/transparency in public organizations, weak enforcements mechanisms, lack of merit-based career advancement, and excessive/ opaque regulations.  The findings reported this article reveal that ethical violations in the civil service and overall corruption levels in politics, economy, and society are very high, with the negative outcome of hampering economic growth, sabotaging social justice and contributing to political instability in the context of developing countries.


Keywords: accountability, civil service, corruption, corruption perception index, developing countries, development, ethics, transparency

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