Riaz Haq recently published a post on his blog about the culture of corruption in Pakistan.
Riaz's post reminded me of a Pew Survey I saw a few years ago which asked people from many countries the following question: How important is religion as part of your daily life? The survey results are shown here in a bar graph.
The original corruption index was shown between 1-10 with 1 being the most corrupt. I changed that to make it easier to see. I plotted 10 minus corruption index (higher number representing higher corruption) against the importance of religion by country (Chart 1). I was expecting that it will not show much of a trend but it showed some interesting insight. If you draw a best fit linear line to this data, it shows an upward slope, meaning that the countries with lower importance of religion are less corrupt. More interesting was how the high importance of religion and high corruption had many data points clumped together in the top right hand corner.
One would think that corruption maybe related to per capita income of a country. Sure enough, when you plot GNI per capita adjusted for buying power, the lower income was related to higher corruption. (Chart 2)
The analysis would not be complete if I did not plot importance of religion with per capita income. (Chart 3). If nothing else, it proves Marx to be correct to some extent that the religion is opium for (poor) masses.
This maybe just different insight and one can extract different conclusions that I have drawn. The data is from 2009 and 2010.
The author of this post, M. Asghar Aboobaker, is the founder, chairman and treasurer of Pakistani-American Cultural Center in Silicon Valley, CA. He has worked in high tech industry for more than 30 years as a business manager as well as engineering manager at companies like Intel Corporation. Currently he is the managing director of a venture fund, K2 Ventures. He has also run businesses as CEO and is on board of startups. He has been on board of directors of more than 3 non-profit organizations in last 20 years. Asghar has Masters of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and BSEE from NED in Karachi.
The Culture of Corruption in Pakistan
Pakistani Judges' Jihad Against Corruption
Incompetence and Corruption in Pakistan
Deeply Religious People Profoundly Ignorant About Religion?
Zardari Corruption Probe
Infections Cause Low IQ in Africa, South Asia?
NRO Amnesty Order Overturned
Transparency International Rankings 2009
Transparency International Corruption Index 2010