Today, on International Anti-Corruption Day, we take a look back at our 2014 WJP Rule of Law Index corruption data.
The absence of corruption—conventionally defined as the use of public power for private gain—is one of the hallmarks of a society governed by the rule of law, as corruption is a manifestation of the extent to which government officials abuse their power for their own interest. Corruption can take many forms, including bribery, nepotism, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, and involvement of organized crime.
Corruption is costly for society: it siphons off scarce resources, introduces inefficiencies and inequities in public service delivery, lowers regulatory compliance, weakens accountability, curtails the public’s opportunities for participation, undermines the government’s credibility, and leads to injustice.
“Absence of Corruption” is Factor 2 of the WJP Rule of Law Index, our annual report on how the rule of law is experienced in everyday life around the globe. This factor assesses three forms of corruption: bribery, improper influence by public or private interests, and misappropriation of public funds or other resources (embezzlement). These three forms of corruption are examined in the executive branch (2.1), the judiciary (2.2), the military and police (2.3), and the legislature (2.4), and encompass a wide range of possible situations in which corruption— from petty bribery to major fraud— can occur.
The following scores and rankings come from the 2014 WJP Rule of Law Index, published in March 2014.
> Launch the WJP 2014 Rule of Law Index data site to learn more.