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Are International Databases on Corruption Reliable? A Comparison of Expert Opinion Surveys and Household Surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Razafindrakoto, Mireille
  • Roubaud, François
Registered author(s):

    Summary 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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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1057-1069

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:8:p:1057-1069
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    1. Axel Dreher & Christos Kotsogiannis & Steve McCorriston, 2007. "Corruption Around the World: Evidence from a Structural Model," Discussion Papers 0702, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    2. Benjamin A. Olken, 2006. "Corruption Perceptions vs. Corruption Reality," NBER Working Papers 12428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud, 2006. "Are international databases on corruption reliable? A comparison of expert opinion surveys and household surveys in sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers DT/2006/17, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Javier Herrera & Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud, 2007. "Governance, Democracy and Poverty Reduction: Lessons Drawn from Household Surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 75(1), pages 70-95, 04.
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    16. Emmanuelle Lavallée & Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud, 2008. "Corruption and trust in political institutions in sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers DT/2008/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
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    19. Seligson, Mitchell A., 2006. "The Measurement and Impact of Corruption Victimization: Survey Evidence from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 381-404, February.
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