I can’t say I care much about most of it. Of course most people everything think corruption is “increasing,” because they are a grumpy lot.
What does matter is the number of people who report paying a bribe in the past 12 months. It is as close to objective measurement as you can get in a sphere of life as indefinite and necessarily opaque as “corruption.”
Below is a quick table summarizing the results from the most notable countries (no comment where it’s pretty much “as expected”).
|Paid bribe in last year?||My comments|
|Australia||1||Acquaintance: AUS bureaucracy incompetent, but not dishonest|
|Brazil||n/a||Was 4% in last survey|
|China||n/a||Last survey was 9%, haven’t been included in this year’s GCB at all.|
|Estonia||6||One of two “clean” post-Soviet republics|
|Georgia||4||One of two “clean” post-Soviet republics|
|Greece||22||By far the worst old-EU country; up from 18% in last survey.|
|India||54||“India shining” worse than many African countries. Exactly same as in last survey.|
|Italy||5||Down from 13% in last survey.|
|Japan||1||Down from 9% in last survey. This figure much more believable, I daresay.|
|Latvia||19||Contrary to propaganda, of the Baltics only Estonia is truly clean|
|Pakistan||34||Cleaner than India! 😐 Down from 49% in last survey.|
|Russia||n/a||Aw shucks… no data. ” (was 26% in last survey)|
|Sierra Leone||84||The record-holders this year (IIRC Cambodia topped last survey)|
|South Africa||47||WTF? Thought RSA, though kinda Third World, had a First World administrative structure.|
|Taiwan||36||WTF!?! Is this a statistical fluke??|
|Turkey||21||Down from 33% last survey.|
|Ukraine||37||Virtually same as in last survey, when it was 34%.|
|United Kingdom||5||Strange… was 1% in last survey.|
|United States||7||Was 5% in last survey… and 2-3% in older surveys. Oh-oh…|
|Venezuela||27||Quite typical for middle-income country, contrary to anti-Bolivarian propaganda.|
So what’s up with South Africa? It’s corruption increased by an order of magnitude relative to the last GCB. And Taiwan?!? It’s GDP in purchasing power terms has recently soared past Japan’s, but it’s corruption levels are Third World… assuming this isn’t a bizarre statistical fluke.
A pity that there is no data for Russia and a few other key countries (Brazil, China, Germany, France). This will make the update to the Corruption Realities Index incomplete, and will leave a gap in my data series for bribery incidence in Russia. I have written to Transparency to inquire as to whether data for these countries will be forthcoming at some later date.