Beyond the lag. How to predict and understand evolutions towards good governance?

This paper tries to forecast good governance evolutions by drawing on the time trends of Index of Public Integrity’s sub-components1. Previous work has showed these to be powerful determinants of control of corruption: judicial independence, freedom of the press, administrative burden, trade openness, as well as the proxies of budget transparency and e-citizenship are considered. Their de- terminants power proves weaker across time than across countries, as the first sections of this paper shows. Based on their trends, we identify several leaders and backsliders. However, more often than not the progress of countries on some items is offset by regress on others. This makes it difficult to understand country trends based only on quantitative measures. We therefore combine this appro- ach with other elements to produce a pilot forecast:

1. Ten years trends of determinants of corruption/the public integrity framework (components of the Index for Public Integrity, IPI), or their related proxies, when not available.

2. The IPI evolution since 2015

3. Qualitative elements, such as recent windows of opportunity (such as elections won with an anticorruption mandate) and implementation gaps (distance between formal treaties/conventions signed and their implementation)

4. The potential critical mass demanding good governance and its digital empowerment at the present moment (e-citizens), as well as other proxies or good governance demand.

This forecast thus blends numerical and qualitative indicators. N=124 countries for which data was available.

Measuring Control of Corruption by a New Index of Public Integrity

While the last 20 years saw the invention of corruption rankings, allowing comparison between countries and the shaming of corrupt governments, such measurements are largely based on the perceptions of experts, lacking both specificity and transparency. New research, based on a comprehensive theory of governance defined as the set of formal and informal institutions determining who gets what in a given context, allow for more specific and objective, albeit indirect, measurements of control of corruption. Such measurements focus on the institutional framework which empowers public integrity and eliminates many current anti-corruption tools, while validating others. Most importantly, it provides a broader specific context which can empower reforms based on evidence and a clear measure to determine status and progress of corruption control.

Opening Public Officials’ Coffers: A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of Financial Disclosure Regulation on National Corruption Levels

Disclosure of income, assets and conflicts of interest can serve as powerful public accountability tools to draw attention to the abuse of public office, help prosecute corrupt offenders and create a culture of scrutiny in the public sector that deters corruption. Based on data of the World Bank’s Public Accountability Mechanisms initiative, we present the first indicator that captures a country’s financial disclosure in-law effort. By employing different panel data model specifications, we use this indicator to measure how the introduction of comprehensive financial disclosure systems impacted national corruption levels for 91 countries between 1996 and 2012. We present robust results that provide tentative evidence for a positive and significant relationship between a country’s capacity to control for corruption and the expansion of financial disclosure legislation for the years following the enactment.

Measuring Control of Corruption by a New Index of Public Integrity

While the last twenty years saw the invention of corruption rankings, allowing comparison over countries and the shaming of corrupt governments, such measurements are largely based on perceptions of experts, lacking both specificity and transparency. New research, based on a comprehensive theory of governance defined as the set of formal and informal institutions determining who gets what in a given context, allows more specific and objective, although indirect measurements of control of corruption. Such measurements focus on the institutional framework which empowers public integrity and eliminates many current anticorruption tools, while validating others. Most importantly, it provides a broader specific context which can empower reforms based on evidence and a clear measure to determine status and progress of corruption control.

This research was made possible by support of the EU FP7 ANTICORRP project (Grant agreement no: 290529) at the Hertie School of Governance.