Corruption: measuring the unmeasurable
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that corruption is inherently unmeasurable. Measures of corruption produced by different sources are highly unsatisfactory. Useful measures may be possible for specific purposes in limited contexts. Reasons why highly unsatisfactory measures are in use have to do with politics and power, rather than utility of these measures. Design/methodology/approach – The paper shows that different dimensions of corruption cannot be reduced to a single number without serious loss of information. For example the number and size of bribes cannot be reduced to a single index. The difference between perceptions of corruption and the reality also makes most popular indices useless. Findings – The paper shows that commonly used measures of corruption are useless for their ostensible purposes. Evidence is presented that they are calculated and used for political purposes. In particular, they provide convenient excuses for the widespread failure of the structural adjustment programs of IMF and World Bank. Originality/value – The paper's findings cast doubt on the vast amount of research which takes the corruption measures as objective and factual, and attempts to find causal factors for corruption, as well as effects of corruption on growth and other variables.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/h.htm Email:
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- George T. Abed & Hamid Reza Davoodi, 2000. "Corruption, Structural Reforms, and Economic Performance in the Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 00/132, International Monetary Fund.
- Chang, Ha-Joon, 2000. "The Hazard of Moral Hazard: Untangling the Asian Crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 775-788, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:humpps:v:25:y:2009:i:2:p:117-126. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.