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Measuring corruption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia : a critique of the cross-country indicators

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  • Knack, Stephen

Abstract

This paper assesses corruption levels and trends among countries in the transition countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) based on data from several sources that are both widely used and cover most or all countries in the region. Data from firm surveys tend to show improvement in most types of administrative corruption, but little change in"state capture"in the region. Broader, subjective corruption indicators tend to show somewhat greater improvement in ECA than in non-ECA countries on average. A"primer on corruption indicators"discusses definitional and methodological differences among data sources that may account in large part for the apparently conflicting messages they often provide. This discussion concludes that depending on one's purpose, it may be more appropriate to use data from a single source rather than a composite index because of the loss of conceptual precision in aggregation. A second conclusion is that the gains in statistical precision from aggregating sources of corruption data likely are far more modest than often claimed because of interdependence among data sources. The range of detailed corruption measures available in firm surveys are exploited to show that broad, perceptions-based corruption assessments appear to measure primarily administrative corruption, despite their stated criteria placing great weight on"state capture."Finally, the paper emphasizes the need for scaling up data initiatives to fill significant gaps between our conceptual definitions of corruption and the operational definition embodied in the existing measures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3968.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3968

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Keywords: Governance Indicators; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Scientific Research&Science Parks; Science Education; Corruption&Anitcorruption Law;

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References

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  1. James H. Anderson & Cheryl W. Gray, 2006. "Anticorruption in Transition 3 : Who is Succeeding... and Why?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7089, January.
  2. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Givens, David, 2013. "Defining governance matters: A factor analytic assessment of governance institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1026-1053.
  2. Kalenborn, Christine & Lessmann, Christian, 2013. "The impact of democracy and press freedom on corruption: Conditionality matters," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 857-886.
  3. Kresimir Jurlin & Nevenka Cuckovic, 2010. "Comparative analysis of the quality of European institutions 2003-2009: convergence or divergence?," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 34(1), pages 71-98.
  4. B.P. Zaaruka & J.W. Fedderke, 2011. "Measuring Institutions: Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Namibia: 1884 - 2008," Working Papers 236, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  5. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2007. "Governance indicators : where are we, where should we be going ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4370, The World Bank.
  6. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
  7. Dong, Bin & Torgler, Benno, 2013. "Causes of corruption: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 152-169.
  8. James H. Anderson & Cheryl W. Gray, 2006. "Anticorruption in Transition 3 : Who is Succeeding... and Why?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7089, January.
  9. Kenny, Charles, 2006. "Measuring and reducing the impact of corruption in infrastructure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4099, The World Bank.
  10. Søreide, Tina, 2009. "Too risk averse to stay honest?: Business corruption, uncertainty and attitudes toward risk," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 388-395, December.
  11. Anja Rohwer, 2009. "Measuring Corruption: A Comparison between the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index and the World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(3), pages 42-52, October.
  12. Seim, Line Tndel & Sreide, Tina, 2009. "Bureaucratic complexity and impacts of corruption in utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 176-184, June.
  13. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2007. "The worldwide governance indicators project : answering the critics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4149, The World Bank.

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