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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

Abstract

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".

Suggested Citation

  • Razafindrakoto, Mireille & Roubaud, François, 2010. "Are International Databases on Corruption Reliable? A Comparison of Expert Opinion Surveys and Household Surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1057-1069, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:8:p:1057-1069
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption governance perception sub-Saharan Africa expert surveys household surveys;

    JEL classification:

    • C89 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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