Correcting for Scale Perception Bias in Measuring Corruption: An Application to Chile and Spain

Springer Netherlands
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Social Indicators Research, 2013, 114 (3), pp. 977 - 995
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Corruption perceptions are commonly utilized as essential information to measure corruption across countries and regions. In this paper we consider the hypothesis that respondents to corruption perception questions utilize different response scales in their answers, i.e. for identical levels of corruption practices, subjects from one country could answer a different level of corruption perception than subjects from another country, based on socioeconomic characteristics. This hypothesis is investigated by utilizing the technique of anchoring vignettes with a sample of citizens in Spain and Chile. The results show that response scales are used differently across individuals in both countries, suggesting that the use of uncorrected measures of corruption perceptions could mislead some conclusions about the comparisons of the corruption levels between countries.
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