TRACE Bribery Risk Typology

The Bribery Risk Typology is a decision tree consisting of a set of questions (e.g. is a given country more stable or less stable), ordered from top to bottom. If you wish to view all the countries described by a particular set of answers, click on the button associated with that set. If you wish to see which group a country falls into, click on that country in the data table, and the map and associated groups will highlight.

The Bribery Risk Typology groups jurisdictions based on factors identified as having a significant effect on the bribery risk environment at the national level. The result should not be considered a definitive classification, but rather as an effort to provide context when comparing and interpreting the Matrix scores.

About the TRACE Matrix Data Browser

1 FAQ

What is the Matrix Data Browser?

The Matrix Data Browser is an online tool for sorting and grouping the data from which the TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix scores are derived.

What is the Matrix Data Browser used for?

The Matrix Data Browser can be used to identify trends and patterns that may be relevant in understanding each country’s risk environment.

Where can I access the Matrix Data Browser?

https://matrixbrowser.TRACEinternational.org

How can I learn more about using the Matrix Data Browser?

You can watch our introductory webinar at youtu.be/Yxnv_u455OE.

Where does the data in the Matrix Data Browser come from?

The TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix is based on data obtained from leading public interest and international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. The Matrix Data Browser allows users to examine that data directly alongside the derived Matrix scores. For information on the sources of specific variables, see Section 2.2.

Can anyone use the Matrix Data Browser?

Yes, the Matrix Data Browser is publicly available at no charge.

Do I need to register to use the Matrix Data Browser?

No registration is required to use the Matrix Data Browser.

In the trendline charts, what does it signify when the lines go up versus when the lines go down?

We have scaled all the variables in the trendline charts so that an upward movement always corresponds to an increase in bribery risk, and a downward movement always corresponds to a decrease in bribery risk.

How does TRACE decide which countries to include in the Matrix?

Because the Matrix is based on third-party data sources, we can only calculate scores for countries included in those sources. As updates are made to the selection of underlying data points, some countries may no longer have enough data to support a reasonable analysis. The 2020 Matrix accordingly no longer includes scores for the following jurisdictions: Aruba, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Macau, Monaco, and Tuvalu.

2 Matrix Overview

The TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix (TRACE Matrix) measures business bribery risk in 194 countries. The overall country risk score is a combined and weighted score of four domains-Opportunity, Deterrence, Transparency and Oversight-as well as nine subdomains. The TRACE Matrix was originally developed in 2014 in collaboration with RAND Corporation. It is updated annually by TRACE. For more information, visit www.TRACEinternational.org/trace-matrix.

2.1 Total Score

This score is the product of a weighted average of the four domains. Opportunity counts for 40%, Deterrence for 15%, Transparency for 22.5%, and Oversight for 22.5%. It is meant to provide a quick summation of the level of bribery risk in a state.

2.2 Domains

Each of the four domains-Opportunity, Deterrence, Transparency and Oversight-seeks to capture a different aspect of the factors that affect bribery risk in a jurisdiction. Each is made up of two or more subdomains derived from original source indicators.

2.2.1 Opportunity

The Opportunity domain measures interactions between businesses and government. It is the domain most immediately associated with bribery risk, so it is weighted most heavily in calculating the overall score, accounting for 40%. It is composed of three subdomains: Interaction, Expectation and Leverage. Each of these is equally weighted.

2.2.1.1 Interaction

The Interaction subdomain is based on the idea that more governmental interaction means more occasions for a government official to solicit a bribe. It measures the frequency and depth of business interactions with government, including variables such as how many visits with tax officials are typically required, and how many procedures it takes to start a business.

Interaction Variables

Description Source
State ownership of economy V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Procedures to get electricity World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Procedures to obtain a construction permit World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Procedures to register property World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Procedures to start a business World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Time to export - documentary compliance – hours World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Time to import - documentary compliance – hours World Bank Ease of Doing Business
If there were visits average number of visits or required materials with tax officials World Bank Enterprise Surveys
Percent of firms with at least 10% of government/state ownership World Bank Enterprise Surveys
Senior management time spent dealing with the requirements of government regulation (%) World Bank Enterprise Surveys

2.2.1.2 Expectation

Would a government official be surprised if you offered a bribe…or would they be surprised if you didn’t? The Expectation subdomain captures the degree to which bribery is considered normal and expected, relying on variables that measure the frequency of bribery demands and whether public officials and private firms generally act ethically.

Expectation Variables

Description Source
Executive bribery and corrupt exchanges V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Legislature corrupt activities V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Public sector corrupt exchanges V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Bribery depth (percent of public transactions where a gift or informal payment was requested) World Bank Enterprise Surveys
Bribery incidence (percent of firms experiencing at least one bribe payment request) World Bank Enterprise Surveys
Incidence of corruptio World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Civil justice is free of corruption World Justice Project Rule of Law Index
Government officials in the executive branch do not use public office for private gain World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

2.2.1.3 Leverage

Inefficient bureaucracies provide civil servants with greater leverage to extract bribes. The greater the regulatory burden, the more prolonged the interaction and the more opportunity for leverage. This subdomain measures opportunities government officials have to apply their leverage if a bribe is not paid, including variables that measure the amount of government regulation, the time required to comply with them, and whether they are fairly applied and enforced.

Leverage Variables

Description Source
Days to get electricity World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Days to obtain a construction permit World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Days to register property World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Days to start a business World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Border clearance efficiency World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Burden of government regulation World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Efficiency of seaport service World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Government regulations are applied and enforced without improper influence World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

2.2.2 Deterrence

The Deterrence domain describes the informal and formal mechanisms that deter businesses or government officials from engaging in bribery. We have termed the less formal mechanisms as Dissuasion and the more formal Enforcement. This domain makes up 15% of the overall score.

2.2.2.1 Dissuasion

This subdomain represents a variety of social attitudes and behaviors that may collectively affect the frequency of bribe demands. It includes factors such as whether citizens view receiving a bribe as acceptable, the rapidity with which social norms are passed on to new arrivals, and the extent to which people are driven primarily by material need.

Dissuasion Variables

Description Source
Access to state business opportunities by social group V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Equal treatment and absence of discrimination World Justice Project Rule of Law Index
How often in country's elections voters are bribed World Values Survey
Justifiable: Cheating on taxes World Values Survey
Justifiable - someone accepting a brib World Values Survey
Post-materialist index World Values Survey

2.2.2.2 Enforcement

The Enforcement subdomain contains variables that measure the more formal aspects of bribery deterrence, such as the effectiveness of the country’s anti-corruption policy, whether government officials are held accountable for misdeeds, and the independence and ability of the judicial branch to enforce the law.

Enforcement Variables

Description Source
Anti-corruption policy Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index
Independent judiciary Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index
Prosecution of office abuse Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index
Regional cooperation Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index
Public sector theft V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Judicial independence World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Organized crime World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Criminal justice World Justice Project Rule of Law Index
Government officials are sanctioned for misconduct World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

2.2.3 Transparency

Transparency is divided into two subdomains: how transparent the government is in its regulatory functions (Processes), and financial transparency within the government and government-adjacent institutions (Interests). This domain contributes 22.5% of the overall Matrix score.

2.2.3.1 Processes

Greater governmental transparency makes it easier to hold officials accountable. This subdomain measures how transparent the government is as it performs its normal regulatory functions. The more transparent the government is in procurement, nationalized natural resource extraction, and policymaking, the less room there is for bribery and the greater the ability of the press and citizenry to expose corruption.

Processes Variables

Description Source
Open Budget Index International Budget Partnership Open Budget Index
E-Government Index United Nations E-Government Development Index
Transparent laws with predictable enforcement V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Budget transparency World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Publicized laws and government data World Justice Project Rule of Law Index
Right to information World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

2.2.3.2 Interests

This subdomain concerns the difficulty there may be in tracking public funds, based on variables including the openness and reliability of information on firms and the degree to which the government is subject to outside audit.

Interests Variables

Description Source
Bureaucratic remuneration V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Executive embezzlement and theft V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Investor transparency World Bank Ease of Doing Business
Conflict of interest regulation World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Strength of auditing and accounting standards World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index
Government powers are effectively limited by independent auditing and review World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

2.2.4 Oversight

The press and civil society can act as a check on corruption in the public sector, but only if they are sufficiently empowered. This domain examines the freedom and strength of these non-governmental institutions. This domain is 22.5% of the overall Matrix score.

2.2.4.1 Free Press

A free press makes it more difficult for officials to act corruptly with impunity and can also drive public attitudes about corruption. We measure how free and powerful the press is by reference to surveys from Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders, as well as more general variables concerning freedom of expression.

Free Press Variables

Description Source
Freedom of expression Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index
Free and independent media Freedom House Freedom in the World
Press Freedom Index Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index
Academics as critics V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Government Internet filtering in practice V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Print/broadcast media critical V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Print/broadcast media perspectives V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Freedom of opinion and expression is effectively guaranteed World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

2.2.4.2 Civil Society

Strong civic institutions can act as a counterbalance to government power and a bulwark against corruption. We measure the strength of such institutions through proxies like the Human Development Index, and more directly through variables from the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the World Justice Project assessing the degree of civil society participation.

Civil Society Variables

Description Source
Civil society participation Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index
Political participation Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index
Human Development Index United Nations Development Programme
Civil society organization participatory environment V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Engaged society V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Engagement in independent non-political associations V-Dem Institute Varieties of Democracy
Civic participation World Justice Project Rule of Law Index
Government powers are subject to non-governmental checks World Justice Project Rule of Law Index

2.3 Basis

This number represents how much data we have about a given country—the basis from which we draw our conclusions. A score of 1.000 means that all data is available for the country; if only three-quarters of the data points were available, the basis score would be 0.750.

2.4 Deviation

Deviation is a way of standardizing each score’s relative degree of risk. It is the number of standard deviations by which the score differs from the average score across all countries. Negative deviations signify lower risk and positive deviations signify higher risk. The deviation scores are color-coded to give a quick visual impression of the associated risk level.

3 Matrix Data Browser

The Matrix Data Browser is an analytical tool intended to provide deeper insight into the TRACE Matrix.

3.1 2020 Bribery Risk Matrix

This page provides a top-level view of this year’s TRACE Matrix. It includes the rank of each country according to the overall TRACE Matrix score as well as the domain scores, the basis, total score and deviation.

3.2 Bribery Risk Typology

The Bribery Risk Typology is a qualitative approach to understanding bribery risk that exists in concert with the TRACE Matrix by grouping countries with similar bribery risk profiles. The Typology enables more informed business decisions regarding business bribery risk through contextual analysis. For more information on how to interact with the Bribery Risk Typology, see its tab on this site.

3.3 By Continent

This tab contains the same information as the 2020 Bribery Risk Matrix tab grouped by continent. It includes the rank of each country according to the overall TRACE Matrix score, as well as the domain scores, the basis, deviation.

3.4 Subdomain Scores

This tab has each domain broken down into its respective subdomains. These tables can be sorted by clicking on any of the column headers.

3.5 Countries

This tab contains the all domain and subdomain scores for the country, along with its overall Matrix score, rank, and continent rank. All scores include an associated deviation, indicating how far away the score is from the average for that domain or subdomain. To change the country, select a different country under “Choose a country.” To quickly compare two countries, click “Compare” and select a different country.

4 About TRACE

TRACE is a globally recognized business association dedicated to anti-bribery, compliance and good governance and leading provider of shared-cost third party risk management solutions. Members and clients include over 500 multinational companies located worldwide. TRACE is headquartered in the United States and registered in Canada, with a presence on five continents. For more information, visit www.TRACEinternational.org.