Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Corruption Perception Indices: A Comparative Analysis

Author: Naved Ahmad

The empirical literature on corruption has used data on corruption from three different sources: (i) investigative reports, (ii) newspapers, and (iii) surveys or questionnaire-based data. Some studies on corruption are based on case studies and newspaper reports. Studies by Wedeman (1997); Wade (1982) and Alam (1996) fall in this category. While these studies have presented an in-depth analysis of corruption, they do not examine a large sample of countries. Moreover, the investigative reports require detective work and sometimes connections with people in high echelons in order to expose corruption. Unlike investigative reports, access to survey data on corruption enables researchers to study corruption for a large sample of countries, but at the same time, raises questions about their subjectivity.1 However, the subjectivity of these indices is often justified on the ground that corruption is illegal in nature, and hard to measure directly.

Naved Ahmad