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Originally posted by Amitabha Batranab:
why is U.S.A with it G.D.P $41,415, covered in light blue signifying a 'corruption' index 7-7.9. The same with japan. Botswanians with a G.D.P of $6,439 seem to think their country is less corrupt with an index of 5-5.9. Hong kong with a G.D.P of $32,750 on the other hand is covered in red.

There are different ways of measuring how rich a country is. GDP is a good one for measuring the total wealth of a country, but what I meant by rich in my last post (and I should have said this better!) is the richness of the people within the country. This makes GDP per capita a better measure then GDP.

A quick glance between these two images does show a pattern:

Corruption map:

GDP per capita map:

There are clearly going to be a few cases which go against the general rule, but there does seem to be a correlation between being richer and being less corrupt. Roughly speaking, the EU, USA, Australia and New Zealand are richer and less corrupt then many others.

That website doesnt exactly try to 'measure corruption' but rather to gauge a perception of corruption of residents of a particular country. The very premise of such a survey to me is useless to me, An american could think his country is more corrupt during a period marked when his country is embroiled in a political scandal and think it is less corrupt otherwise. How do you account for perception tainted by arousal of emotion? This is merely a survey and though useful to a few people im sure, it just cannot provide any concrete scientific foundation upon which to base conclusions and do further study.

Of course. Any survey based entirely on subjective opinions is not going to produce scientifically accurate data. On the other hand, it can reveal some basic patterns and indicate some points of interest. I don't think the study by Transparency International proves a case either way, but it does put forward an interesting theory which is worth consideration.

To say as you do "Are some countries rich because they are less corrupt, or less corrupt because there is less motivation to be corrupt in a rich country? Probably a bit of both." can also be successfully refuted within the confines of this (faulty)argument because if you look at the countries which have been touted as the 'least corrupt' on that very web page. Iceland, Finland, Denmark,Singapore,New Zealand,Norway,Netherlands,Australia,Singapore,Sweden, one could easily argue that its not wealth that seems to regress corruption numbers but population numbers.

Absolutely, it is always good to come up with alternative theories. I'm not sure if this one is more likely to be true though. Neither population or population density figures seem to show a pattern similar to the corruption pattern. If you have any data which indicates a link between population and corruption then I'd be interested to see it though.

At best they can provide a roadmap in helping one make up his mind or provide basis for further study/analysis. at worst they can be great conversation starters betwen two people.

Sure, I totally agree! These kind of studies are no good when attempting to analyse society in a scientific way, but perhaps that isn't possible at all on a large scale. They're better, like you say, at being additional supporting evidence or just something to talk about... like we're doing

Personally I don't have a particularly strong view point on this issue. I think that the idea of average richness in a country being related to corruption is likely, but there will be other factors involved as well.
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