Handbook of Global Research and Practice in Corruption
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Handbook of Global Research and Practice in Corruption

Edited by Adam Graycar and Russell G. Smith

Corruption is a global phenomenon with costs estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. This source of original research and policy analysis deals with the most important concepts and empirical evidence in foreign corrupt practices globally.
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Chapter 3: Measuring Corruption

Finn Heinrich and Robin Hodess


Finn Heinrich and Robin Hodess INTRODUCTION Corruption, defined as ‘the abuse of entrusted power for private gain’,1 is not a recent phenomenon. The study of corruption, however, its frequency and forms, causes and consequences, has expanded dramatically in the past 15 years. Why is this so? Since the 1990s, there has been a growing awareness of the relevance of corruption to economic and social development – and this has gone hand in hand with emergence of empirical research on corruption. The growing evidence on corruption and its impact has in turn increased interest in corruption among policymakers, development practitioners and academics alike. The focus on corruption research has ranged from questions of definition, to measurement, to the analysis of the relationship between corruption and relevant social, political and economic phenomena, such as human rights, media freedom, democracy, economic development, social inequality, foreign investment and the like (Lambsdorff, 2005; Treisman, 2007; Pellegrini & Gerlagh, 2008). More evidence, and a growing awareness of the need to measure and understand corruption, has led to a vastly more sophisticated set of tools and approaches to assessing corruption. With the emergence of these new methods, it is important to take stock of results: research has overwhelmingly proved the hypothesis that corruption has a negative impact on people and on markets. Corruption, research shows, regardless of method, is a negative sum game. This chapter provides an overview of recent developments in the field of measuring corruption. In line with the overall policy-oriented focus of the handbook, it...

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