The Transparency International has published its Global Corruption Barometer 2010. The 2010 Barometer used public opinion surveys to capture the experiences and views of more than 91,500 people in 86 countries and territories. It reports that one in four people paid bribes in the last year, and that six out of 10 people around the world say that corruption has increased over the last three years.
The section on petty bribery in particular makes for fascinating reading. Nearly 77000 people were asked to rate their experiences over the past 12 months with nine of the commonest public service delivery departments. Interestingly, India came in the top-tier of countries where respondents reported to having paid a bribe to access nine public services over the past 12 months - 54% of Indians reported to having paid bribes.
The police emerged as the most corrupt of departments, with nearly three of ten people who had contact with police reporting that they paid bribes. In fact, people in Asia Pacific and Latin America reported that judiciary was the most corrupt institution.
Capturing the regressivity of petty bribes, the survey finds that poor people are more frequently penalized with bribes. They pay bribes more frequently than the rich in eight out of the nine services.
Nearly half the people report that their last bribe was to "avoid a problem with the authorities", nearly a quarter to "speed things up". Interestingly, in Asia Pacific, 35% of people last paid bribes to "access a service they are entitled to" and 28% to "speed things up".