I was browsing the Transparency International website, and realized they have their 2013 data up. This organization tracks corruption, and each year they make a ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’ across 175-180 or so countries. For 2013, it was 177 countries. This measures how business people both local and international perceive corruption in each country. The map below shows the findings graphically – lighter is better. (The Transparency website has a larger interactive map. Take a look if you want to browse.)
Each year I calculate a few normalized scores to see how India – and China, the US, and Myanmar for comparison – have done over time. (Technically, TI says you can’t compare pre-2012 scores with later scores, but I’ve made an adjustment that I think makes it good enough.)
Interestingly, India, China and the USA hadn’t changed much compared to 2012. Their ranks were in the 53rd, 45th, and 11 percentiles respectively. Their scores had hardly budged from the previous year. I’ll be very interested to see if the new government in India significantly affects corruption perceptions in the next survey.
Meanwhile, in the 2013 survey, the big surprise was Myanmar. In 2012, its rank was dismal – in the 98th percentile, it was among the worst in the world. This time, it was still dismal, but had improved distinctly, bringing it to the 89th percentile.
Its score had risen from 15 to 21 between 2012 and 2013, while India remained flat at 36, the US flat at 73, and China moved only one point from 39 to 40.
While a normalized rank of 89 is nothing to brag about, the improvement is. If Myanmar can keep this up for a few years, people will be able to dismiss corruption there as no worse than anywhere in ASEAN.
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