Publication: Can We Measure the Power of the Grabbing Hand? A Comparative Analysis of Different Indicators of Corruption
Sustainable Development Goal 16 is explicitly committed to measuring aspects of corruption over time, and the identification of robust indicators to do so is an important endeavor. This paper critically reviews the strengths and weaknesses of various objective and subjective indicators of corruption, using the standard criteria of validity and reliability to identify indicators most salient to measuring Sustainable Development Goal 16. Consistent with the large literature in the field, the paper finds that the aggregate survey-based indicators of corruption, especially the Corruption Perceptions Index and the World Bank's Control of Corruption indicator, despite some important reservations and limitations, are the most valid measures of the magnitude of overall corruption in many country contexts. However, in every case, the initial results using one indicator should be cross checked with the use of the other indicator, as there are some minor differences between how the two indicators are constructed, and in practice it is difficult to establish a priori which indicator is marginally more efficient. Furthermore, whenever possible, subjective indicators should be cross checked with objective indicators, even when the latter may be of a more narrow scope and time limited availability.
“Hamilton, Alexander; Hammer, Craig. 2018. Can We Measure the Power of the Grabbing Hand? A Comparative Analysis of Different Indicators of Corruption. Policy Research Working Paper;No. 8299. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/29162 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
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