KLITGAARD, Robert Emery |

KLITGAARD, Robert Emery

Robert Klitgaard

Visiting Professor

A.B. (philosophy), Harvard College. M.P.P., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Ph.D. (public policy), Harvard University.

Robert Klitgaard
Contact Details
Office Location

469B Bukit Timah Road
Level 2, Li Ka Shing Building
Singapore 259771


Robert Klitgaard is a University Professor at Claremont Graduate University, where he served as President from 2005 to 2009.  From 1997 to 2005, he was the Dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, which is considered the world’s leading Ph.D. program in policy analysis.

He has been the Lester Crown Professor of Economics at Yale’s School of Management and an Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he also served half-time as Special Assistant to Harvard President Derek Bok. 

His consulting work and research have taken him to more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He has been called “the world’s leading expert on corruption” (The Christian Science Monitor). He has served on the faculty of the World Economic Forum, the editorial board of the Journal of Economic Literature, and the Board of the International Development Evaluation Association.

Robert Klitgaard - CV

Research Areas

  • Administrative and public sector reform
  • Corruption
  • Development policy
  • Policy design and implementation


  • Tropical Gangsters II: Adventures in Development in the World’s Poorest Places (Kindle KDP Books, 2013). “These new adventures have all the wit and wisdom of the first. The narrative opens a window on some of the most challenging problems in development. A must read for anyone who is concerned about the problems of endemic poverty and understanding the forces that inhibit effective change.” –Timothy Besley, London School of Economics.
  • High-Performance Government: Structure, Leadership, Incentives (RAND, 2005) (edited with Paul C. Light). “This sometimes sprawling but hugely insightful work is the first significant public management book about performance in the new century. It rivals John Roberts’ The Modern Firm currently regarded by many (this reviewer included) as the best business book thus far on performance in the 21st century.” –The Public Manager
  • Corrupt Cities: A Practical Guide to Cure and Prevention (ICS Press and World Bank Institute, 2000; translated into 18 languages.) (with Ronald MacLean-Abaroa and H. Lindsey Parris). “This small gem of a book…is an exemplar of the transfer of economic principles into the practice of public management.” –The Journal of Economic Literature
  • Adjusting to Reality: Beyond “State versus Market” in Economic Development (ICS Press and International Center for Economic Growth, 1991; translated into Spanish and French), a study of policies to make markets work better, make governments work better, and close the economic gaps among ethnic groups. “Lively and highly readable…goes beyond the abstractions of academia and the slogans of the World Bank to present a step-by-step guide to identifying problems and implementing the recommended policies.” –Journal of Economic Literature. 
  • Tropical Gangsters (Basic Books, 1990; I. B. Tauris, 1991), a first-hand account of economic reform in Africa. Named by the editors of the New York Times Book Review as one of the six best non-fiction books of 1990. Included in New York Times’ Books of the Century
  • Controlling Corruption (University of California Press, 1988; translated into 6 languages), a study of corruption and how to reduce it in the developing countries. “A most worthwhile book, both for its insights into anticorruption policies and for the academic debate about more general questions that it will certainly create.” –American Political Science Review.
  • Elitism and Meritocracy in Developing Countries (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), an analysis of selection policies (including affirmative action) around the globe. “This groundbreaking book…should be required reading for social scientists, both in universities and outside them, who are seriously interested in the important roles and impacts of education in developing countries.” –Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.
  • Data Analysis for Development (Oxford University Press, 1985), how to apply statistics and econometrics to policy problems in poor countries. “Stunningly good.” –Richard Light, Harvard University.
  • Choosing Elites (Basic Books, 1985), how educational elites are and should be selected in the United States. Listed in The Harvard Guide to Influential Books. Named one of “900 Great Books of the Western World” as compiled in 2000 by Prof. Alexander H. McIntire, Jr., of the University of Miami.
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