Assessing Corruption: How to compare indicators?

By weakening the institutional frameworks through which economic agents interact, corruption constitutes a major obstacle to economic development. Because of its secretive nature, measuring corruption has proven to be challenging.

Numerous initiatives have been launched in the past two decades with the objective of producing reliable measures of corruption. Nonetheless for a researcher, to find a way through the “jungle” of corruption indicators is not always easy. However, a close look at the issue of corruption measurement is often an essential preliminary step to successfully understand corruption as an empirical research topic.

The aim of this review by Frédéric Lesné is to evaluate the main categories of indicators which have been used more of less interchangeably since the middle of the 1990s for the study of the macro-determinants and consequences of corruption. Lesné looks at the indicators based on expert assessments, which are constructed from surveys capturing the perceptions and experiences of corruption of households or businesspeople, and composite indicators of corruption. This study focuses on multi-year global and regional indicators which provide comparable scores across countries and time.


Version : 2013-11-01
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