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Are international databases on corruption reliable? A comparison of expert opinion surveys and household surveys in sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Razafindrakoto, Mireille
  • Roubaud, François
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    Abstract

    This study examines the limits of global corruption indicators based on experts’ perceptions. It draws on a wave of original surveys conducted in eight African countries that combined two types of approaches. The first approach covers a sample of over 35,000 people and uses experience-based questions to measure petty bureaucratic corruption. The second (Mirror Survey) reports 350 experts’ opinions. A comparison of these two sources paints a clear picture of the experts’ errors of assessment. We also find evidence for ideological biases, with experts tending to rank countries based on their own political preferences, and the existence of an erroneous implicit cultural model of “how Africa works”.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/4352.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Publication status: Published in World Development, 2010, Vol. 38, no. 8. pp. 1057-1069.Length: 12 pages
    Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/4352

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    Related research

    Keywords: Household surveys; Experts surveys; Subsaharan Africa; Governance; Enquêtes-ménages; Enquêtes-experts; Afrique sub-saharienne; Perception; Gouvernance; Corruption;

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    Cited by:
    1. Gaoussou Diarra & Patrick Plane, 2011. "Assessing the World Bank's influence on the good governance paradigm," Working Papers halshs-00555814, HAL.
    2. Lee, Wang-Sheng & Guven, Cahit, 2013. "Engaging in Corruption: The Influence of Cultural Values and Contagion Effects at the Micro Level," IZA Discussion Papers 7685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Craigwell, Roland & Wright, Allan S, 2011. "Foreign Direct Investment and Corruption in Developing Economies: Evidence form Linear and Non-Linear Panel Causality Tests," MPRA Paper 40933, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Timothy Swanson & Mare Sarr, 2012. "Corruption and the Curse: The Dictator's choice," CIES Research Paper series 17-2012, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    5. Jahedi, Salar & Méndez, Fabio, 2014. "On the advantages and disadvantages of subjective measures," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 97-114.
    6. Campos, Nauro F & Estrin, Saul & Proto, Eugenio, 2010. "Corruption as a Barrier to Entry: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5243, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Campos, Nauro F & Dimova, Ralitza & Saleh, Ahmad, 2010. "Whither Corruption? A Quantitative Survey of the Literature on Corruption and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 8140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Michael Breen & Robert Gillanders, 2011. "Corruption, Institutions and Regulation," Working Papers 201106, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
    9. Brown, David S. & Touchton, Michael & Whitford, Andrew, 2011. "Political Polarization as a Constraint on Corruption: A Cross-national Comparison," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1516-1529, September.

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