If Everyone Else is Being Corrupt, So Will I

An IADB study has revealed that people exposed to information about corruption are more likely to commit it themselves.

Monday, April 6, 2015

EDITORIAL

An article in Crhoy.com analyzes the report "Corruption as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Costa Rica", produced by researchers at the Inter-American Development Bank, which concludes that "... The willingness of an individual to engage in corrupt behavior is indeed affected by their perceived level of corruption in society." The report's results can be extrapolated to the entire region, since other Central American countries exhibit levels of perceived corruption which are higher than in Costa Rica.

The dire consequences of corruption extend beyond their direct results such as the impoverishment of the many for the benefit of the few, and the loss of competitiveness of the economy, generating a vicious cycle: Corruption breeds more corruption.

The following have been identified as characteristics of corruption:

"...
- The existence of corruption wears down sanction mechanisms: This occurs if the probability of detection is inversely related to the frequency of the act

- Corruption corrupts by affecting search costs: The more sure one entity (official or business) is about the corruption of other, the less it costs them to commit a corrupt act.

- Education at Home: corrupt behaviors are imitated if they have been successful for neighbors or relatives in the past.

- Entrance to public service: If there are corrupt officials and political elites, it will be the dishonest ones who try to enter [the public arena].
... "

View full report Corruption as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Costa Rica

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More on this topic

Guatemala: Corruption and Business

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Entrepreneurs feel that corruption in the public administration is the State's main problem, and they affirm that a high percentage of companies have been exposed to bribes.

The Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations of Guatemala carried out the "I Survey of Business Perception 2018", and among the main results that were obtained, were that " ...38% of entrepreneurs said that corruption in public administration is the state's main problem which prevents development, while 43% say that their companies have been exposed to bribes."

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December 2013

The majority of Central American nations are perceived as being the most corrupt in Latin America.

The Index of Corruption Perception created by Transparency International, ranks Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua in the list of countries perceived as the most corrupt.

Honduras is ranked at number 140, while Nicaragua and Guatemala are located in positions 127 and 123, respectively.

Central American Governments: All More or Less Corrupt

October 2010

No Central American country comes to "green" in the Corruption Index 2010, representing serious problems for businesses.

Costa Rica is the best positioned country in the Central American Index 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, reports produced by Transparency International.

Transparency International’s 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index

September 2008

Central America Ranking: Costa Rica 47, El Salvador 67, Panamá 85, Guatemala 96, Honduras 126, Nicaragua 134.

With countries such as Somalia and Iraq among those showing the highest levels of perceived corruption, Transparency International’s (TI) 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), launched today, highlights the fatal link between poverty, failed institutions and graft. But