Russia is the World #1 — in Bribe-Taking

Transparancy International published its 2008 Bribe-Payers Index earlier this week. TI states:

The 2008 BPI ranks 22 of the world’s wealthiest and economically dominant countries by the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad. It is based on the informed observations of 2,742 senior business executives from companies in 26 developed and developing countries, selected on the size of their imports and inflows of foreign direct investment.

Russia ranked #22 on the list, dead last, the most corrupt nation on the survey.  Russia was one of only seven countries on the list who are not signatories to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s convention against bribery.  China joins Russia on that list of shame, and was also near the bottom of the list.

UPDATE:  In response to a comment, we point out that TI’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks 180 countries (virtually the entire globe), finds that only 32 nations on the entire planet are more corrupt than Russia across a wide range of criteria.   So Russia isn’t an atrocity only when compared to “the world’s wealthiest and economically dominant countries” but by any standard you care to name.  As the commenter points out, it’s dubious whether Russia even belongs in the 22 nation group — many others have far higher per capita GDP than Russia and were excluded.

2 responses to “Russia is the World #1 — in Bribe-Taking

  1. I have to gripe that this list is somewhat bizarre (with all respect to the authors and Transparency International in general).
    First, Tower Bolshevik can read it to be that Russia is the 22nd most honest country (in the world of 190 countries) – and this is ridiculous proposition.

    Second, TI says that it is a list of 22 of the world’s wealthiest and economically dominant countries. I am not convinced that Russia belongs to the list in the first place. It wouldn’t be by size (Taiwan and Netherlands are there); nor by GDP (South Africa dwarfs GDP of many missing countries). So, can somebody point out why Russia got on the list and, say, Indonesia didn’t?

    The point of this article is, of course, incontrovertible. Yulia Latynina wasn’t really joking when she compared Russian corruption with 17th century Ethiopia.


    TB can’t read it that way, because TI does a complete list of all countries across the full spectrum of corruption and Russia is #147 out of 180 countries surveyed, bottom 20% of all nations in the world.

  2. Bottomline, what are the chances of opening a business in Russia where you would never be the victim of a bribe scheme ? I’d say zero.

    Any chance that if a Russian traffic cop pulled you over and a bribe wasn’t expected? I’d say zero.

    I rest my case.

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