As the indices introduced in Chapter 2 indicate, different parts of the world experience different levels of corruption. These cross-country comparisons have raised further questions about whether it might be possible to construct a theory of the causes and consequences of corruption. By identifying commonalities and divergences between various countries and their experiences of corruption, theorists have sought to answer the following questions:

• Why is the incidence of corruption high in some countries but low in others? Is it possible to generalise about necessary pre-conditions for high levels of corruption? Can we identify the root causes of corruption, or dynamics that facilitate corrupt activities?