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Worldwide clustering of the corruption perception

Michal Paulus, Ladislav Kristoufek

posted on 10 February 2015

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We inspect a possible clustering structure of the corruption perception among 134 countries. Using the average linkage clustering, we uncover a well-defined hierarchy in the relationships among countries. Four main clusters are identified and they suggest that countries worldwide can be quite well separated according to their perception of corruption. Moreover, we find a strong connection between corruption levels and a stage of development inside the clusters. The ranking of countries according to their corruption perfectly copies the ranking according to the economic performance measured by the gross domestic product per capita of the member states. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first one to present an application of hierarchical and clustering methods to the specific case of corruption.