Skip to main content

Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Advanced Search

“Close but no cigar”: the measurement of corruption

Heywood, Paul M.; Rose, Jonathan


Paul M. Heywood

Jonathan Rose


The financial cost of corruption has recently been estimated at more than 5 per cent of global GDP. Yet, despite the widespread agreement that corruption is one of the most pressing policy challenges facing world leaders, it remains as widespread today, possibly even more so, as it was when concerted international attention began being devoted to the issue following the end of the Cold War. In reality, we still have a relatively weak understanding of how best to measure corruption and how to develop effective guides to action from such measurement. This paper provides a detailed review of existing approaches to measuring corruption, focusing in particular on perception-based and non- perceptual approaches. We highlight a gap between the conceptualisation of corruption and its measurement, and argue that there is a tension between the demands of policy-makers and anti-corruption activists on the one hand, and the motivations of academic researchers on the other. The search for actionable answers on the part of the former sits uncomfortably with the latter’s focus on the inherent complexity of corruption.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2014
Journal Journal of Public Policy
Print ISSN 0143-814X
Electronic ISSN 1469-7815
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Heywood, P. M., & Rose, J. (2014). “Close but no cigar”: the measurement of corruption. Journal of Public Policy, 34(3), doi:10.1017/S0143814X14000099
Keywords Corruption, Governance, Indicators, Measurement, Perceptions, Policy
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information c2014 Cambridge University Press


Close but no Cigar.pdf (385 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations