DMPQ- What are the various means to measure corruption?

Measuring corruption

  • There are two main types of Corruption based on its quantum – Petty Corruption faced by common man in his day to day life and Grand Corruption which takes place at higher levels. While the former is based predominantly on duress, the latter is more consensual and is driven by expectations of mutual gain. Out of the two, Grand Corruption is more difficult to measure as both parties have an interest in keeping things under cover.
  • Measurement of Corruption thus far, has been limited to measuring perception of Corruption (CPI). This is an indirect measure of Corruption where a sample of population is polled about their perception of the level of Corruption present in a region or service.
  • Direct Measurement of Corruption is a daunting task because of the cloud of secrecy and fear associated with it. The victims fear retaliation and the perpetrators have a vested interest in secrecy, leading to a quiet burial of the incident. So most often, any direct corruption data is difficult to obtain and its also more likely to be intentionally tampered .
  • Various approaches to measure Corruption directly may be suggested based on how other intractable quantities are measured. One such model to measure petty Corruption based on Inflation, is discussed below:-

Inflation Model:

  • As Inflation is measured on the basis of prices of a basket of goods and services, similarly a basket of public services that suffer from rampant corruption may be surveyed on a regularly basis to measure Corruption trends. The basket of services may consists of common services like a) Driving License b) Registration of new Company c) New Vehicle Registration d) Registration for Sales Tax e) Passport Application f) Issuance of ‘C’ Forms etc. .
  • Other models for measurement of Corruption may be built around Exit Polls or Confession Boxes. Those who have recently paid bribes or are  likely to have paid a bribe, should be encouraged to anonymously disclose their bribes. Exit polling may be attempted discreetly near the places of service delivery.
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