What works to generate impact in the control of corruption: The role of artificial intelligence

Gastón Pierri - Juan Cruz Vieyra

During the IDB’s 2023 Knowledge Week, economists Michael Kremer and Esther Duflo highlighted the importance of working in tandem with academics and promoting innovative initiatives, for producing robust evidence regarding potential solutions to the different problems which are currently affecting our region.

Among these problems, bureaucratic corruption is a leading one; according to estimates by the IMF, corruption costs countries about 4% of their GDP worldwide. This phenomenon also adversely impacts the quality of public and foreign direct investment, as well as countries’ credit ratings, among other things, further increasing the costs of corruption.

In addition to the aforementioned economic costs, corruption scandals are sources of political instability and contribute to a reduction in public trust in institutions, as well as in the democratic foundations of our government systems.

In spite of its importance, evidence of effective solutions in terms of corruption control is still at its early stages. Because of the very nature of corruption, governmental reforms within the spirit of promoting transparency and eliminating this phenomenon lack a unique and solid dimension, which limits the possibility of designing and implementing causal frameworks to evaluate their respective effects.

This is the very reason why the joint effort of academics and innovation centers, focused in generating real impact by applying the former’s cutting-edge research, becomes a central pillar of the fight against corruption.