Measuring Corruption Panel IICorruption metrics has become an ever-growing empirical field over the past decade. Progress in the fight against corruption requires a measurement of the menace itself, in order to better diagnose problems, identify risks, and monitor results. But how far have we come?

What is reality and what a myth? This was the topic of a panel discussion at the IACA campus on 15 May. Academics, compliance officers, representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations, civil society, and participants in the Master in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS), came together for a lively, two-hour debate on the subject. The panelists included Lisa Florkowski, the Head of group compliance and corruption prevention at Raiffeisen Bank International, Pavol Frič, a senior lecturer and researcher at Charles University in Prague, Johann Graf Lambsdorff, the designer of the Corruption Perceptions Index and a professor in economic theory at the University of Passau, and Robert Lugolobi, a MACS participant from Uganda who is working as a research fellow at Makerere University in Kampala and who served as Executive Director of Transparency International Uganda. The panel was moderated by Martin Kreutner, the Dean of IACA.

The most critical challenges facing corruption measurement, aggregate and disaggregate indicators was brought forward. Panelists discussed how global corruption indices can help overcome the domestic bias of a country’s percieved level of corruption and thus shape behaviours. Members of the audience raised questions on corruption indices’ failure to properly account for international tax flows, the proxies and variables of corruption metrics, as well as the influence of awareness raising on government policies. At the end of the evening, the panelists and audience enjoyed an informal gathering over drinks, which provided additional opportunities to exchange ideas.

This panel discussion took place on the occasion of the second on-site MACS module, which focused on the relationship between corruption and economics. In addition to Professor Lambsdorff, the module was taught by Tina Søreide, a senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and a postdoctoral research fellow in law and economics at the University of Bergen, as well as by Daniel Haeberlé, an independent professional consultant, researcher, and facilitator.

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