This year’s results highlight the connection between corruption and inequality, which feed off each other to create a vicious circle between corruption, unequal distribution of power in society, and unequal distribution of wealth.
The lower-ranked countries (Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea) of the index are plagued by untrustworthy and badly functioning public institutions like the police and judiciary.
Higher-ranked countries (Denmark, New Zealand, Finland) tend to have higher degrees of press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, stronger standards of integrity for public officials, and independent judicial systems. Nevertheless, the higher-ranked countries are not immune to closed-door deals, conflicts of interest, illicit finance, and patchy law enforcement that can distort public policy and exacerbate corruption at home and abroad.
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