Measuring Corruption: A Critical Assessment and a Proposal
Perspectives on Corruption and Human Development, Macmillan, 2009
38 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2009
High-quality data on corruption is fundamental both to the analysis of corruption, and the design and assessment of anti-corruption programs. Thus, a discussion of the methodological issues involved in the measurement of corruption is a central task in work on corruption. This chapter contributes to this task by critically assessing the methods currently used to measure corruption and by elaborating a methodology for measuring corruption. The chapter considers various definitions of corruption and suggests a consensus has developed regarding a working definition of corruption that can be used in work on measurement. It reviews a large range of methods, with an eye to ascertaining what aspects of the concept of corruption can be adequately measured with available methodologies, and identifies advances in, and persistent challenges to, measurement. It evaluates methods used to produce corruption indices, and discusses the problems entailed in creating indices that allow for cross-country and inter-temporal comparisons. Finally, it suggests how corruption might be measured in light of a concern with human development and the availability of data in Asia and the Pacific.
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