Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 04/2012

Bribe Payers Index 2011

January 2012

Transparency International


This report presents the fifth Transparency International Bribe Payers Index. The index ranks 28 of the world’s largest economies according to the perceived likelihood of companies from these countries to pay bribes abroad. It is based on the views of business executives as captured by Transparency International’s 2011 Bribe Payers Survey. The countries and territories ranked in the Index cover all regions of the world and represent almost 80 per cent of the total world outflow of goods, services and investments.1 The Bribe Payers Survey also captures perceptions of bribery across business sectors. This report examines different types of bribery across sectors – including, for the first time, bribery among companies (‘private-to-private’ bribery). Foreign bribery has significant adverse effects on public well-being around the world. It distorts the fair awarding of contracts, reduces the quality of basic public services, limits opportunities to develop a competitive private sector and undermines trust in public institutions. Engaging in bribery also creates instability for companies themselves and presents ever-growing reputational and financial risks. This is particularly relevant in light of recent anti-bribery reforms in a number of key countries around the world, such as in China and the United Kingdom. This report draws attention to the role that both the private and public sectors can play in tackling this issue. It also makes a number of actionable recommendations, for both businesses and governments, on how they could strengthen their efforts to make substantial progress in reducing the prevalence of foreign bribery around the world.