Corruption is defined here as the use of an inducement to persuade someone to do, or not to do, their duty. Despite it being mostly illegal, it is present in varying degrees everywhere in the world. It is classified as self-protection because the decision to pay a bribe to an official, for example, is a decision to use one’s own resources (money) rather than to call for the rules to be enforced; the person who pays a bribe and the person accepting it are both participants in the same corruption, and both are operating outside the law. It increases the cost of living and doing business, benefits some at the expense of others, and undermines governance
Corruption is very common, despite the fact that there are countermeasures which are available to reduce it. Transparency International measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption in 180 countries, publishing a Corruption Perceptions Index each year. Its complete elimination, requiring both education and the strengthening of institutions, would take several generations.
Its ability to undermine the governance framework makes corruption a serious problem, so it is worth solving. The following sub-sections examine why it is such a problem (18.104.22.168), and what countermeasures are available (22.214.171.124).