14 May 2012

Gallup has published findings of a corruption survey conducted last year reflecting responses given to interviews with 1000 participants in each of the 140 countries making up this Business Corruption Index. Unlike the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index which evaluates perceptions of the extent to which the public administration is corrupt, the Gallup survey measures perceived corruption within business.
As can be expected the countries that rate poorly on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index are largely those where corruption is a serious business issue.  The United States is an exception.
Results vary widely – even within regions. “… In Asia, for example, 13% of Singaporeans perceive corruption as widespread, (Singapore ranks first on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index). In contrast, nearly 90% in Indonesia perceive corruption as widespread in their businesses (Indonesia’s Ease of Doing Business Index ranking is 129th).
New Zealanders appear to have less confidence in the integrity of business than in public services. Business in New Zealand was seen by 24% of its citizens as widely corrupt – while 60% did not consider business corruption to be widespread. Overall New Zealand ranks in the Gallup survey as the 4th least corrupted business sector. (It is third in the Ease of Doing Business Index.)
The better rating countries, where there is seen to be less widespread corruption in business are;
1st     Singapore  (13%)
2nd    Rwanda     (15%)
3rd     Denmark   (21%)
 Australia ranks 12th (32%) and the United States 43rd (62%)
According to the World Bank, corruption is “one of the single largest obstacles to economic and social development.” Strong leadership, policies, laws, and greater transparency are necessary to fight corruption, which in turn may actually promote job creation and economic development”. Developing nations may suffer more because corruption can stymie financial development and foreign investments, and foster income inequality.