• TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index:Insofar as capture is concerned, one of Transnational Transparency’s most relevant innovations has been to include State capture “by narrow vested interests” as part of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Technical Methodology as one of 13 data sources that experts and business executives provide regarding corruption in the public sector. The importance of this lies in the public communication power of the CPI, which is regarded worldwide as among the best reliable indicators of country-level corruption.

  • Natural Resource Governance Institute’s Resource Governance Index (RGI):The RGI — a one-of-a-kind tool — measures the quality of governance in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. The version from 2021, assessed resource governance in 18 countries, half of which include both their mining and oil and gas sectors. While the RGI does not specifically include measures of State capture, it does include proxy data such as Enabling Environment issues (Voice and accountability; Government effectiveness; Regulatory quality; Rule of law; Control of corruption; Political stability and absence of violence; and Open data), as well as information about taxation and State-owned enterprises. The potential of this tool, of course, would be if it included measures of State capture and expanded its purview to include corporate capture.

  • Global Composite Index of State Capture:In May 2023, a small group of anti-corruption scholars and data practitioners — with funding from the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — met to plan a new index that would more effectively measure State capture. Critical to this effort is a project by Daniel Kaufmann to develop a global composite index of State capture, as follows:

“This index draws on well-established data sources, including Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), the Worldwide Governance Indicators, and the World Inequality Dataset. The composite index (SCI) is expected to comprise three distinct components:

  • Capture and Corrupt Rule of Law: the prevalence of high-level corruption and state capture in the Judiciary, Legislature and Media.
  • Capture of the Polity and Policy: extent of undue influencing and state capture of politicians and of policymaking.
  • Capture-Enabling Environment: extent of weaknesses in the legal, regulatory and anti-corruption regimes, as well as marked inequality of wealth and income as proxies for unequal influence – all as enabling factors of state capture.

Each one of these three main components is in turn informed by many specific disaggregated variables from the sources listed above. The measurement encompasses data from over 170 countries since the late 1990s. Following standardization of the variables from different sources into common units, the composite score is derived by averaging the three components. They are in turn an aggregation of the individual variables, via percentile ranking, with values ranging from 0 to 100. It was underscored that this index, as in every governance and corruption measurement initiative, serves as a proxy, and hence is subject to margins of error.

Initial findings based on the index reveal that when we focus on state capture measurement important differences arise compared to traditional measures of corruption. Thus, the latter are likely to be a misleading proxy of the former for many countries. The initial state capture measures suggest that high-income countries exhibit higher relative values than traditional corruption estimates, while the reverse is the case for low-income countries. The differences in measuring both phenomena are consistent with the differences in conceptualizing both notions and suggest that differential policy responses are warranted.”

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