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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Draft Polygraph on Guriev Statement

Publication: Polygraph
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Draft Polygraph on Guriev Statement on Wealth Disparity and Corruption

Name

Sergei Guriev, former rector of the New Economic School in Moscow until his resignation in 2013 and emigration to Paris; currently chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

 

Statement on left

Economist Sergei Guriev said Russia "has the highest level of wealth and inequality in the world” and that “Russia is not the most corrupt country in the world, but for its level of income it is unquestionably more corrupt then comparable countries, countries with a comparable level of income."

 

Source: Rambler News Service (RNS)

 

https://rns.online/economy/Guriev-Rossiya-yavlyaetsya-samoi-korrumpirovannoi-sredi-shozhih-po-obemu-ekonomiki-stran-2016-11-11/?utm_medium=rexchange&utm_campaign=43&utm_content=31490&utm_source=izvestia.ru

 

Conclusion: PARTLY TRUE (Background color =green)

Condensed Version Sergei Guriev, the Russian economist who fled Russia under fear of political prosecution and who is now the chief economist of the EBRD, said Russia "has the highest level of wealth and inequality in the world" and is “more corrupt than comparable countries” with its level of income. Guriev’s first claim is based on the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report which does claim Russia is the nation with the greatest wealth disparity unlike a number of other annual assessments such as prepared by the OECD, UN or Allianz, which do not include Russia in their top 10 or even top 20; in fact, Allianz declared the US to be “the richest and most unequal”.

 

http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/america-wealth-inequality/

 

But Guriev’s second claim that Russia is more corrupt than countries like Italy with a similar GNP is in line with the widely-regarded annual Perceptions Corruption Index of Transparency International.

FB tease: Is Russia the country with the greatest amount of wealth disparity in the world? Only Credit Suisse seems to think so; other institutions that provide annual ratings systems such as Allianz give that dishonor to the USA and wealthier Western countries. Russian émigré economist Sergei Guriev had no other source than Credit Suisse to make his claim that Russia “had the highest level of wealth and inequality in the world”; he is on surer ground with his statement that Russia is “more corrupt than comparable countries” with the same level of income. Here, Transparency International and World Audit place Russia very high on their lists of countries ranked by level of corruption, much higher than countries with similar GDP such as Australia or Spain.

 

Twitter: Russian economist Guriev says Russia has the greatest wealth disparity in the world and is the most corrupt among its peers. Is he right?

 

Polygraph.info fact-check:

At a conference organized by Vedomosti in Moscow titled “Effective Tools of Growth,” Sergei Guriev, the Russian economist who fled Russia under fear of political prosecution and who is now the chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said Russia "has the highest level of wealth and inequality in the world," citing the annual Global Wealth Report prepared by Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse has made this claim in past reports and has been criticized by Russian experts; the firm closed its private banking services in Russia this past summer.

 

https://www.credit-suisse.com/ch/en/about-us/research/research-institute/global-wealth-report.html

 

http://expert.ru/2013/10/15/rejting-so-mnogimi-neizvestnyimi/

 

https://lenta.ru/news/2016/07/11/noprivate/

 

Guriev also stated that Russia "is more corrupt than other countries with comparable level of income."

 

A report by Allianz says the US is the country with the highest degree of inequality; Russia is not even in its top 10.

 

http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/america-wealth-inequality/

Russia is by no means among the lowest of 176 countries on the UN and CIA combined table of income equality:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

 

Nor is Russia among the lowest countries on OECD’s index of income equality.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

 

Meanwhile, in 2015, Russia was rated 119 out of 167 on Transparency International's corruption perception index as the same level as Sierra Leone, Guyana and Azerbaijan.

 

https://www.transparency.org/cpi2015/

 

It improved its ranking somewhat compared to past years, with a score of 29, which raised its position from 139 to 119 last year, but still keeping it among the most corrupt countries. (The lower the score, the higher the level of corruption.)

 

https://rbth.com/politics_and_society/2016/01/28/russia-improves-its-ranking-in-the-corruption-perceptions-index_563177

 

World Audit has ranked Russia 105 out of 150 in corruption.

 

http://www.worldaudit.org/corruption.htm

 

In 2013, Russia’s GDP was $2.1 trillion, comparable to that of Italy, which was $2.07 trillion that year. Russia’s GDP has fallen in the last two years to $1.26 trillion, making it similar to the GDPs of Australia ($1.25 trillion), Spain ($1.25 trillion) or Mexico ($1.06).

 

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jul/27/lindsey-graham/graham-russia-has-economy-size-italy/

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

 

Russia has been ranked eight among the world's top 10 economies because of its influence.

 

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jul/27/lindsey-graham/graham-russia-has-economy-size-italy/

 

Brazil, with a GDP of $2.2 trillion in 2013, fell to $1.76 trillion GDP in 2015, and, dropped from 38 to 76 on Transparency International’s index, joining India, last year, due to the Petrobas scandal. Australia had a score of 79; Spain had a score of 58; Mexico had a score of 35.

 

http://www.newsweek.com/brazil-petrobras-corruption-perception-index-419848

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

 

Thus it is true that compared to other countries with a similar GDP, Russia is indeed more corrupt. Therefore, the first part of Guriev’s statement is “mostly untrue,” while the second part of his statement is “mostly true,” making his statement “partly true”.

 

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

 

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Acknowledgements