The most comprehensive study done so far in anti-corruption is by Transparency International (TI). The three major publications of TI are: Corruption Perceptions Index Report, Global Corruption Barometer and Bribe Payers’ Index. Here, I have used the Corruption Perceptions Index to check the general trends in corruption in the past decade.
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)

CPI shows the perceived level of public sector corruption in 183 countries/territories in the world. It is a detector of the level of public frustration at the government and public offices in general. It’s interesting to note that in the CPI 2011 Report, it is mentioned that, “measuring scandals, investigations or prosecutions, while offering ‘non-perception’ data, reflect less on the prevalence of corruption in a country and more on other factors, such as freedom of the press or the efficiency of the judicial system”. Thus, it has made a case for ‘perception’ data over ‘non-perception’ data. They’ve colour coded different levels of corruption and come up with an attractive way of representing the best and worst performers in six different regions: Americas, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, EU & Western Europe, Middle East & North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The perception data that they use focus on bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and on questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts in the public sector.

In the analysis below, I have compiled CPI scores for all the countries for three years in the last decade 2003, 2007 and 2011. I averaged scores for six different regions and plotted a column graph which is given below.
                                   
2003
2007
2011
Americas
3.7
4.1
4.2
Asia-Pacific
4.5
4.1
4
Eastern Europe & Central Asia
2.6
2.8
2.9
EU & Western Europe
6.7
6.7
6.5
Middle East & North Africa
4.2
3.8
3.9
Sub-Saharan Africa
2.8
2.8
2.9


As the index scores rise, it means that the public’s perception of corruption in the government and public offices has gone down. The above graph shows that index scores have risen marginally or remained the same for Eastern Europe & Central Asian and Sub-Saharan countries while it has fallen in the Asia-Pacific and European Union & Western European countries. In the Arab region of the Middle East & North Africa, scores have seen a marginal rise after a distinct fall. The Americas have seen a general rising trend in the CPI score in the past decade.
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