I am looking for the best objective source to compare corruption in Russia to other countries. The often cited Corruption Perceptions Index (as far as I can tell) is not objective since it is based on subjective opinion of mostly western experts. The Global Corruption Barometer would be great, except that Russia is not included in the 2013 version cited on wikipedia. Russia publishes some data in the Антикоррупционная инициатива бизнеса, i.e. business anticorruption initiative, but this does not allow comparison to other countries.

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    The accusations of bias would have more traction if influential Western countries didn't also drop, significantly, as well. For example, the US went from #19 in 2012 to #25 in 2020. Likewise, Canada under Trudeau's Liberals has significantly slipped. The index might have its issues, but it also seems to correlate with other indices. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index#Validity : ... compared the CPI with other subjective indicators have found that, while not perfect, the CPI is argued to be broadly consistent with one-dimensional measures of corruption Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 16:47
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    The accusation is not so much of being biased, but of being subjective (although this obviously opens the door for bias). This has led to considerable criticism of the CPI elsewhere, e.g. foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/22/corrupting-perceptions. Having an index which is based on experts is only useful for people who trust those experts. Therefore the question, what verifiable methodology is the expert opinion based on. Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 17:03
  • Fair enough. You did not use the word bias, I did, so that is a valid point. It is important to distinguish bias from systemic methodology errors. The first may very well lead to Western penalization of non-Western countries. The second tho should have the same effects across the board (unless weighting was slanted to lower Western indicators of corruption while heightening non-Western ones). The point is still that "Western expertise", is not as relevant to methodology errors as bias errors. You might want to clarify then - much inconvenient stuff gets dismissed as "Western". Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 17:11
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    How could this possibly be done objectively? Thought experiment: in country A, the police routinely hold innocent people in jail until bribes are paid, but the rest of the government is honest. In country B, the police and low-level officials are honest, but cabinet ministers route ten-figure contracts to their cronies. I don't see how you could objectively declare one of those countries to be more corrupt than the other. Corruption occurs in many different ways with no objective comparison between their severities. Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 22:00
  • @Nate: what you are addressing: when we measure something, we can ask: what are we measuring?, and: is it relevant? For the CPI, the first answer for me is "I don't know" / "can someone tell me?" / "the opinion of some experts?", and as a result, my answer to the second question is "I am unable to determine this". For the global corruption barometer, I have a much better sense as to the answer to the first question, and as a result we can better argue about the second question. Clearly better methods to measure corruption would be nice, and maybe someone will point out that this has been done. Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 5:23

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It is 2016 numbers, but here is The Global Corruption Barometer for Russia.

You can click around the map to compare with other countries.

  • Note: Yes, it's the same publishers as CPI, but it is used a different method, apparently. Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 16:49

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