From Petty Corruption to Criminal State Cover Image

From Petty Corruption to Criminal State
From Petty Corruption to Criminal State

A Critique of the Corruption Perceptions Index as Applied to the Post-Communist Region

Author(s): Bálint Madlovics, Bálint Magyar
Subject(s): Corruption - Transparency - Anti-Corruption
Published by: MTA Társadalomtudományi Kutatóközpont Kisebbsegkutató Intézet
Keywords: corruption; state capture; criminal state; CPI; Hungary

Summary/Abstract: Offering a decent database easily applicable to cross-country comparison, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has been widely used as a variable for showing the level of corruption. However, surveys of its sources are based on presumptions which mainly apply to bottom-up forms of corruption, namely free market corruption and bottom-up state capture, and therefore it is insufficient for assessing the state of a country plagued by top-down types of the former. We provide an analytical framework that distinguishes four levels of corruption and draws on the experience of the post-communist region. Using this framework to analyze the CPI’s survey questions, we explain why the index provides a blurred picture of the region. ‘Big data’ evidence for top-down corruption in Hungary is also presented, signifying the need for a more refined index.

  • Issue Year: 5/2019
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 103-129
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: English