GDP per Capita vs Corruption

Good governance is like the air we breathe- when it’s present nobody really notices, only when it’s absent, everybody notices
Many living in the island called the Wonder of Asia would agree that absence of good governance increases corruption. A few intelligent politicians have been trying to convince our masses that corruption has affected our nation’s economic performance. Though the convincing, in part, has not been successful due to the corrupt officials’ excellent propaganda machinery which operates for personal gain. If everything is done transparently and in line with best practices, the corrupt businessmen and bureaucrats stand to lose. However, much good people try to implement proper procedures, the opposing camp will double it’s efforts to derail it, thereby delaying the speed of decisions and incurring additional costs.

The data in the chart applies for Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Sri Lanka was ranked 91 in 2010, score 3.2

In the chart, a high Corruption Perception Index score is good, indicating a country is relatively clean of corruption. Meanwhile, a high GDP per Capita figure would also be considered to be good. It appears that countries with a high perception of corruption are correlated with poor economic performance, while countries with high “clean” scores are correlated with high levels of economic performance!

In the book ‘Smart Trust’, the author Stephen Covey draws the relationship between trust and prosperity in a country, using Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. He argues that the reason there is a direct connection between trust and prosperity is that trust affect two key inputs to prosperity; speed and cost. When trust goes down in a country speed goes down and cost goes up. This is because of the many steps that have to be taken to compensate for the lack of trust.

So the next time you complain something is slow don’t resort to facilitation payments to expedite the transaction, but exercise patience in the name of improving governance and thereby trust in the system. Eventually, it would fall into place. Let’s think that one person can make the difference. Reduce corruption, increase trust, increase speed and lower cost!

About surenraj

“Views expressed are my own”
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