The first is to tally the money made from scams, based on estimates from officials and investigators. (Our calculation uses realised profits, or the present value of anticipated profits. We use the low end of some official estimates.) The second approach, which is applied more widely in our new index of cronyism (see article), measures the relative performance of billionaires in industries, such as mining and property, that are prone to rent-seeking relative to those in other lines of business (see chart 1). A final method tracks the relative performance of an index of politically linked listed firms constructed by Saurabh Mukherjea of Ambit Capital, a broker (see chart 2). An average of the approaches suggests the gains from rent-seeking over the past decade peaked at about $80 billion. That is equivalent to 7% of the stockmarket’s value today. It is worth noting, though, that the share of GDP for the rent-seeking billionaires and the premium on politically connected firms are no longer what they were in the boom years.
Assuming bribes paid were 5-15% of money made by businessmen, the Economist estimates that total bribes paid would amount to $4-$12bn. Presumably, this is over a decade. Translating into rupees, this amounts to Rs2400-7200 crore every year.