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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Knack, Stephen, 2006. "Measuring corruption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia : a critique of the cross-country indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3968, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3968
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
    2. James H. Anderson & Cheryl W. Gray, 2006. "Anticorruption in Transition 3 : Who is Succeeding... and Why?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7089, July.
    3. Kaufmann, Daniel, 2005. "Myths and Realities of Governance and Corruption," MPRA Paper 8089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay, 2008. "Governance Indicators: Where Are We, Where Should We Be Going?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    4. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2007. "The worldwide governance indicators project : answering the critics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4149, The World Bank.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Kenny, Charles, 2006. "Measuring and reducing the impact of corruption in infrastructure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4099, The World Bank.
    8. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:1:p:68-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. Dong, Bin & Torgler, Benno, 2013. "Causes of corruption: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 152-169.
    11. Seim, Line Tndel & Sreide, Tina, 2009. "Bureaucratic complexity and impacts of corruption in utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 176-184, June.
    12. repec:bla:tvecsg:v:108:y:2017:i:1:p:92-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Bartolini, David & Santolini, Raffaella, 2017. "Political institutions behind good governance," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 68-85.
    14. Givens, David, 2013. "Defining governance matters: A factor analytic assessment of governance institutions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1026-1053.
    15. Anja Hülsewig, 2009. "Measuring Corruption: A Comparison between the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index and the World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(3), pages 42-52, October.
    16. James H. Anderson & Cheryl W. Gray, 2006. "Anticorruption in Transition 3 : Who is Succeeding... and Why?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7089, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

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