The international scale of corruption – defective indicators?

The Econlib newsletter is out for August and Anthony de Jasay has a review of the international league ladder on corruption as reported by Transparency International.  This looks like a fun way to get at the data.

The list for the year 2010 makes interesting reading. The top ten countries are Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland and Norway. The ten bottom countries down to 178 are Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Chad, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The first thing that springs to the eye is that the least corrupt countries are all rich and the most corrupt ones all poor or worse, downright miserable basket cases. [the US came in at 22]

This is old news but the point I want to ponder is the way that Australia rates so high while we know that there is a heap of corruption as a result of the control of the ALP by the trade unions and other factions, not to mention the Greens. Check out the Wonthaggi desal plant,  the kind of appointments made by ALP Governments  and the serial scandals that have emerged in NSW and Qld.

It would be informative to check out their tools for measurement, but right now I have an appointment. Maybe a commenter can provide a thumbnail.

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5 Responses to The international scale of corruption – defective indicators?

  1. we know that there is a heap of corruption as a result of the control of the ALP by the trade unions and other factions, not to mention the Greens.

    True corruption is using your authority or influence to gain a personal benefit. We have plenty of examples of using public funds to benefit a group, but few of direct personal benefit.

    Our biggest corruption is the thinking exercised by these groups.

  2. Rafe

    Yes on the Green influence it is corruption of the process of policy formation more than corruption that results in personal gain, although there will be plenty of personal gain for chosen firms that get into the alternative energy racket.

  3. Entropy

    An alternative explanation is that we merely look good in comparison. As in, we might have a few crooks, but not as many as the other guys.

  4. Factory

    1) What entrophy said. From at least reading on the internet, the US (as a comparison) has alot of petty corruption at lower levels than does Australia.
    2) The TPI measures perceptions of corruption, not corruption itself. this has the side effect of that countries that take active steps to stop corruption will end up having an increase in the percieved corruption, before it eventually decreases.

  5. Eyrie

    DavidLeyonhjelm

    You mean like politician’s benefits?

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