Corruption is conventionally measured in global indices as a one-dimensional problem—one score for every country—a practice that has profoundly shaped our conceptualization of corruption and its relationship with capitalism. What if we unbundle corruption into qualitatively distinct types and then measure them across countries? How will this approach change our understanding of corruption? This review article serves two purposes. First, it introduces a new framework for “unbundling corruption” into four varieties and highlights their differential economic effects. Based on this typology, I piloted a new cross-national measure of these four varieties of corruption in fifteen countries, using an expert, perception-based survey—the Unbundled Corruption Index (UCI)™. Second, I review six questions on corruption through the lens of unbundling corruption. Shifting our focus of corruption from its aggregated quantity to its quality not only changes our responses to commonly asked questions about corruption, it also prompts new questions.

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