Corruption Perceptions Index 2016


Has been released.

It is basically a composite index of about a dozen subjective corruption ratings given out by various development organizations and more political NGOs (e.g. Freedom House).

Although it generally reflects reality, as in it correlates well with other, more objective measures of corruption, there are two major caveats:

(1) It is not necessarily accurate for any one particular country. You would be better off looking at things like Transparency International’s own Global Corruption Barometer surveys of everyday bribery, the World Bank’s enterprise surveys, and expert assessments (preferably blind) of national legislation such as the Global Integrity Index, the Open Budget Index, and the Revenue Watch Index. (I tried to combine some of them here).

(2) The people actually doing the ratings are employed by outfits such as the World Bank and democracy promotion NGOs. This means their perspectives are going to be ideologically loaded in predictable directions.

For instance, it’s pretty likely that despite the Maidan’s promises, Ukraine is still considerably more corrupt than Russia. Although Ukraine and Russia score an equally bad 29/100 according to the CPI, there are differences in their component scores [XLSX]. The World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey, which queries businesspeople who are more concerned with profits than politics, gives Russia 38/100 to Ukraine’s 27/100. The “political” NGOs, however, rate Ukraine higher; Freedom House gives it 33/100 to Russia’s 25/100.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Philip Owen says

    My anecdotal experience places Greece as #1, India #2 and Malaysia #3 with Russia not close. In the rest of the EU, North America and Japan I’ve never encountered problems. That said, I came across a Brit salesman who hadn’t made out a carnet who was prepared to offer a Russian customs officer a £50 bribe to get it through if found out. That’s a mark against the Brit to make it clear. Extortion (India), accepting and offering are all different. And what about Brothers-in-Law?

    Russia has carried out many major reforms that have not been attempted in Ukraine. My experience since 1994 suggests that they have had an impact. That Ukraine and Russia are in the same bracket speaks to a very wide bracket or miscalculation. Have the raters ever tried to get a Greek or Indian government contract?

  2. Daniel Chieh says

    I would say that its as much a hit job on “illiberal” governments as any real measure of anything.

  3. The DPRK has problems, but I doubt “extreme corruption” is the right name for them.