Corruption Index

Despite good economic progress, Cambodia's development may have been hindered to some extent by corruption and misallocation of resources, which could be considered rent seeking economic activity. A lower Transparency International Corruption Index is better.



2 min

Corruption in Cambodia

In the past decade, Cambodia has had high levels of corruption compared to the ASEAN countries.

The index brings into discussion other legal frameworks necessary for strong economic institutions such as political stability and open markets.

The government states that accountability for capital has been improved, which is indicated by its rapid economic growth.

Yet, a major issue of contention has been crony capitalism. Critics cite the Kingdom's Oknha title as an exchange between political power and privileges such as land-grabbing. Regardless, the number of Oknha now sit at just under 1000 people, showing an increase in the number.

Wealth disparity in Cambodia

A commonly quoted measure of income inequality is the Gini coefficient. While some sources attempt to provide estimates of the Gini coefficient for Cambodia, it is unclear as to what methodology these sources utilize. This, combined with lacking data from reliable sources (such as the World Bank) make discussion of wealth inequality in Cambodia challenging and as such we don't dive into this here further.

Overall there is not enough data on Cambodia’s extreme wealth and economic inequality, which could suggest that it needs to be monitored more closely.

How is corruption measured?

Corruption is defined broadly by the World Bank as the abuse of public office for private gain. This covers a wide range of behavior, from bribery to theft of public funds. Low income countries are especially prone to corrupt behavior as institutions are weak. The corruption index methodology is clearly defined and reputable sources are utilized for calculating the corruption index.