10 Countries That Believe Giving Bribes Gets You Ahead In Life

Greasing someone's palms is a way of life in these 10 bribery-heavy nations.

There is hardly any society without bribery, whether it's infrequent or a way of daily life.

Pew recently did an interesting study where they asked people how important certain attributes like education, connectivity, luck, etc. are for getting ahead in life. People ranked the attributes 0-10 (not important at all to very important).

The results were pretty good overall, and the majority of people rated education as the key to getting ahead in life. But what stood out was not only the number of people relating success to bribery but also the countries where this ratio was the highest.

Here they are:

  1. China 5.5
  2. Jordan 5.0
  3. Russia 4.5
  4. Poland 4.3
  5. Tunisia 4.1
  6. Italy 4.1
  7. Turkey 4.0
  8. Mexico 4.0
  9. Greece 3.9
  10. Ukraine 3.7

According to Pew, bribery in China is such a great issue that the Communist Party officials focused their 2014 plenum on anti-corruption efforts.

The Chinese public rated the importance of “giving bribes to get ahead in life” as somewhat important (half rated it between a 6 and a 9). Just 3 percent say bribery is very important (rating of 10), and 5 percent say it is not important at all (rating of 0).

Brazil was the least likely to say giving bribes is important, a solid majority (74 percent) says bribes are not important at all. In the U.S. – where money’s influence in politics also makes plenty of headlines – 47 percent say giving bribes is not important at all for getting ahead, and 6 percent say it is very important.

Bribery, though a menace, is not restricted to individuals. Just recently the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expressed its concern about Turkey's ability to detect and investigate foreign bribery, especially political interference in the process.  

Turkey is not alone in this. According to Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, more than half of the 41 nations that are signatories of the anti-bribery convention are doing “little or nothing” to stay clean or stop their multinational companies from paying bribes abroad. Canada seems to be the only country that has improved significantly in this regard.