Corruption, Rent-Seeking Behaviour and Informal Practices in Institutional Contexts Workshop Series

This online workshop series sought to bring together researchers from different disciplines to improve our theoretical, empirical and methodological understanding of different aspects of corruption, rent-seeking behaviours, and informal practices within different institutional contexts.

About the event

A general consensus exists that corruption and other forms of rent-seeking behaviour impose tremendous costs on society, because they reduce funds devoted to public goods including safety, social services, and infrastructure. They create economic distortions, lower economic growth, and increase inequality. From the institutional perspective, institutions – as rules and norms able to constrain and shape human interactions (Hodgson 2006; North, 1990) – should minimise these collective action problems by discouraging and penalising rent-seeking behaviours. Within the literature on individuals’ conformity and compliance to rules (broadly defined as social norms), emphasis has been placed on the study of the reasons why institutions designed to contain such behaviours fail to act as expected (Batory 2012). Across different social science disciplines a consensus is emerging that corruption and other forms of rent-seeking behaviours cannot be reduced to a lack of institutional quality.

This workshop series looked to provide an ad-hoc research platform to further this debate. Organisers sought work that shed light on corruption and other forms of rent-seeking behaviours within different institutional and socio-cultural contexts from a broad and interdisciplinary perspective. The workshop series also aimed to explore different aspects of informality, the complementarities existing between informal practices and different forms of institutions, and the relational mechanisms linking informal practices and corruption.

Further information

These events were organised by the Institute for International Management (Loughborough University London, the Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies (Birkbeck University of London) and the Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies (University College London). 

More information

Watch the workshop recordings

Friday 13 November 2020: Informal Practices, Corruption and Institutional Change

Friday 20 November 2020: Consequences of Corruption

Friday 27 November 2020: Bribery, Anti-Social Behaviour and Local Governance