Corruption and Human Development Index: A Global Picture of the Brazilian Panorama Between 2010 and 2018

Corruption and Human Development Index: A Global Picture of the Brazilian Panorama Between 2010 and 2018

Olívia Maria Cardoso Gomes (University of Minho, Portugal) and Mara Karinne Lopes Veriato Barros (Federal University of Campina Grande, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8350-9.ch010
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Corruption is a human phenomenon that covers the whole world. It is a fact that public corruption gains more prominence than private corruption, because the state has the duty of accountability in a transparent way to taxpayers. As a result of this, the authors focus on the analysis of public corruption, which involves agents and public resources of the state. Therefore, this study has the main objective to verify if there is a relationship between IPC corruption (corruption perception index) and HDI (human development index), which posits the hypothesis that the greater the corruption, the lower the HDI indexes. In addition to the CPI and HDI variables, they also analyze the GDP of the countries in a secondary way. The global data analyzed indicate a high correlation between greater corruption and a lower index of human development, which may suggest problems of accountability.
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Analyzing The Concepts Of Corruption, Public Corruption, And Accountability

The term “corruption” has remote origin, comes from the Latin “corruptio” that means decomposition, putrefaction of the organic matter. According to the philosopher Aristotle corruption is “the change that goes from something to not being of that something”. He analyzed the term by granting it negative character and suggested that corruption victimized the virtues of the human being in order to break it down, to decay it.

However conceptualizing the term is not something simple and there is almost a consensus among scholars in providing its difficulty. The problem occurs by the fact that the term from its origin to the present day has undergone changes and its understanding is influenced by time, space and culture, so that we do not intend to point out a complete and definitive concept in this work.

According to Bruno Wilhelm Speck investigations about the issue are divided into three generations. In the first generation there was a search for a single concept that dealt with the phenomenon, because it was believed that the different conceptions were a problem:

The first attempts that resulted in empirical surveys on corruption started from the assumption that the different models of conceptualization of the phenomenon represented a problem. The most common way out was to identify corruption from a definition close to that of the penal code. Nye's (1967) solution has become classic for this approach. According to this author, corruption represents a deviation from the formal duties associated with a public office, due to private benefits. Many authors have questioned this legalistic definition, since it would be suggesting a universalism that would not correspond to reality. (Speck, 2000, p.7)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Human Development Index: Comparative measure used to rank countries by their degree of “human development” and to help classify countries as developed (high human development), developing (medium and high human development), and underdeveloped (low human development).

Corruption: Act or effect of bribing one or more persons on their own or another's behalf, by offering money.

Public Resources: Set of assets that compose the public patrimony of a country.

Gross Domestic Product: Represents the sum (in monetary terms) of all final goods and services produced in a given region (whether countries, states, or cities) for a given period.

Public Agent: Anyone who exercises, even temporarily or without remuneration, by election, appointment, appointment, hiring, or any form of investiture or bond, mandate, position, job, or public function.

Accountability: Responsibility. To be accountable with transparency.

Corruption Perception Index: Annual report corruption perceptions index (CPI) that orders the countries of the world according to the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist between civil servants and politicians.

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