Date of Award

Winter 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Studies

Committee Director

David Earnest

Committee Member

Kurt Taylor Gaubatz

Committee Member

David Selover


This dissertation examines the impact of Transparency International's (TI), Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and whether or not the CPI and hence TI matter. It examines the impact of TI's CPI on policymakers. It explores three areas: world's political and economic responses and Jamaica's policy responses to the CPI. Jamaica is selected for a case study due to TI's high corruption perceptions index rating for the country: a country that legally has strong anti-corruption laws but, nonetheless, sees its CPI ranking worsen almost yearly.

This study comprises mixed methodologies, using both qualitative and quantitative measures to assess the impact of the CPI on development policies. Taking into consideration the importance scholars and policymakers both give to corruption's effect on development; the findings of this study indicate that the CPI, the most cited corruption index, does not change the world's political and economic policymakers' behavior. As in, when the index is published yearly, there is no measured change as it regards world's political and economic policymakers. Nonetheless, Jamaican policymakers pay significant attention to their performance on TI's CPI. Corruption is regarded as a key hindrance to development policies and TI's CPI is used as the authoritative tool to assess countries' corruption perceptions score by both international governments and several international agencies. The use and reference of TI's CPI does not translate as the main factor in regards to the increase and or decrease of aid flow.

Surprisingly, there was no evidence that the CPI affected the credit rating and or investment flow into Jamaica. It indicated however, that TI's CPI is reflective of the global market perceptions of Jamaica's economy. But the research shows that the index does change policy responses in Jamaica as government officials across varying agencies pay attention to the index and the progress and or worsening of the country's score.