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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

parking and corruption

In a great paper for the National Bureau for Economic Research, two researchers have found that the number of parking tickets that legally-immune foreign diplomats acummulate in NYC and refuse to pay is a great measure of how corrupt their home countries are.

Corruption rank Country Violations per diplomat

1 Kuwait 246.2
2 Egypt 139.6
3 Chad 124.3
4 Sudan 119.1
5 Bulgaria 117.5
6 Mozambique 110.7
7 Albania 84.5
8 Angola 81.7
9 Senegal 79.2
10 Pakistan 69.4

The paper ranks country corruption according to the number of parking violations per country diplomat, and finds that the results match up remarkably well with findings from rough survey-based estimates on the topic. Who are the worst violators? Kuwait blew away the competition with a whopping average of 246 unpaid parking tickets per diplomat over a 5 year period. Diplomats from countries famed for their good political behavior like Canada, Sweden, and Norway didn't have any unpaid tickets. And countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America - regions widely accused of corruption - all had countries at both the top and bottom of the ranking. Some of the surprises? Colombian and Ugandan diplomats paid up almost all their tickets, while the Italians are overdue on about 15 unpaid tickets per diplomat.



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