"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be."
Lord Kelvin


Corruption risks of the nuclear power plant investments: What can we expect in the case of Paks II?

In January 2014 the Hungarian Government announced that it reached an agreement with the government of Russia concerning the construction of two new reactors to replace current capacity at the Paks nuclear power plant. Paks I. is a Soviet-built plant operational since 1983-1987. It is the only nuclear power plant in the country and provides about 40% of Hungarian electricity consumption. With an estimated budget of 3-4 trillion Hungarian forint (9-13 billion euros), the project will be the single largest investment in read more

Finding the hay stack and the needle. Using Big Data to evaluate public procurement performance

Mihály Fazekas presented at the International Corruption Hunters Alliance meeting organised by the World Bank in Washington DC. This conference brought together heads and senior officials of corruption investigating bodies and prosecuting authorities, anti-corruption experts, academics, and representatives of international organizations from over 130 countries. His presentation was part of the panel on how to use data mining and ‘Big Data’ to better detect, investigate, and prevent corruption in financial flows, development aid, and government contracts. read more

Analytical framework to capture corruption and collusion risks in public procurement

Mihály Fazekas briefed European Commission and Member State public procurement officials about the CRCB risk assessment methodology and future perspectives for collaboration within CRCB’s new large-scale research program, called DIGIWHIST. His presentation was part of the meeting of the Economic and Statistical Working Group (Advisory Committee on Public Procurement) 12th of November 2014, read more

EU Funds’ curse? The impact of EU Funds on institutionalised grand corruption in CEE

Mihály Fazekas presented CRCB’s research at the launch event of the second ANTICORRP volume: The Anticorruption Frontline at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

The presentation focused on the main findings of the chapter co-authored by CRCB researchers István Jánost Tóth and Mihály Fazekas. In addition, it also presented new research perspectives including the authors work using EU-wide public procurement data as well as the exciting new research grant they recently won, called DIGIWHIST: “The Digital Whistleblower. Fiscal read more

Corruption risks of the nuclear power plant development in Paks

On 28th October 2014 Istvan Janos Toth presented CRCB’s research results on the corruption risks of the investment of Paks nuclear power plant. The study was prepared for the Energiaklub Institute.

The study examines corruption risks based on economic theory and the specific characteristics of large investment projects. We provide an estimation of the amount of corruption risks in the proposed investment and we put forward suggestions for an anti-corruption strategy. One of the key arguments discussed in the study is read more

Second-generation indicators of high-level corruption using public procurement data


Brown Bag presentation given at the World Bank, Washington D.C., 4th of June 2014



As part of the one week visit of CRCB to the World Bank (Operations Risk, Public Sector Governance and Integrity and Controllers), Mihály Fazekas and István János Tóth gave brown bag lunch presentation. It introduced the CRCB approach to measuring corruption and collusion risks in public procurement across the globe. After demonstrating the feasibility and validity of new ‘objecitve’ read more

New Indicators of High-Level Corruption using Government Contracting Data: Examples from Eastern Europe


Presentation given at the Oxford Centre for the Study of Corruption and Transparency , University of Oxford, Kellogg College, 20th of June 2014.



Existing measures of corruption often suffer from bias and are too broad to guide policy or test theories. This paper proposes three new indirect indicators of high-level corruption in public procurement, using contract and organisation-level administrative data.

The first is a composite score expressing the probability of corruption occurring in public procurement tenders read more

In respectable society: on how elite configuration influences patterns of state capture in Hungary

Presentation at the Midwest Political Science Association 72nd Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 3  April 2014.

State capture and corruption are widespread phenomena in transition economies such as Hungary. This paper has a two-fold goal: first, demonstrates how a novel analytical framework for gauging state capture works using the example of Hungary during 2009-2012; second, it systematically analyses how captor group organisation influences the structure and methods of state capture. read more

Three indicators of institutionalised grand corruption using administrative data

Corruption Research Center Budapest team wins the U4 Proxy Challenge competition for measuring corruption

On the 4th of February 2014, the CRCB team, István János Tóth and Mihály Fazekas, participated at the Proxy Challenge workshop in Bergen (Norway) organised by the U4-Anti-Corruption Resource Centre. In a competition with 4 other finalist teams, CRCB has won this global competition for proposing novel corruption measures with its innovative indicators of institutionalised grand corruption in public procurement. The evaluation panel included, among others, Phil Mason from DFID and Jesper Johnson from U4. We are thankful for the support and help we received read more