Popular stereotypes of corruption can be classified into two broad categories - administrative and harassment corruption.
Those like the 2G spectrum and mining lease allotment, and CWG procurement scams are examples of administrative corruption. In such cases, either the administrative processes themselves are tweaked or its implementation is subverted to suit preferred parties. However, the more ubiquitous form of corruption involves the harassment of citizens by government officials through demands for bribes to access public services.
Though both forms of corruption are bad, harassment corruption is more debilitiating and generates widespread inefficiencies. It is the form of corruption that citizens are likely to encounter as part of their daily lives. Unlike administrative corruption, which exists in some form or the other in all countries (for example, the manner in which the TARP bailout was administered in the US smacks of administrative corruption), harassment corruption is very rare among the developed countries.
Here is a graphic of such harassment bribes from the latest Global Corruption Barometer about the bribes paid by ordinary members of the public to at least one of nine different service providers, including customs, education, medical services and the judiciary.
As the graphic indicates, India stands at the top in harassment corruption. More than half the citizens reported to have paid bribes to access atleast one of the nine most essential public services in the past 12 months. Addressing this corruption should form the major anti-corruption priority of governments across developing countries.
If the Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement in India is to have any impact on the lives of ordinary Indians, it needs to go beyond top-down regulatory quick-fixes like Lok Pal Bill. It needs to adopt more systemic and incentives-based approaches to lowering corruption (see this, this, and this). But these are mostly un-glamorous and incremental administrative innovations whose implementation is highly context-specific, and are not amenable to being reduced into populist slogans.