Social Indicators Research

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 43–65 | Cite as

Updating the Rich Countries’ Commitment to Development Index: How They Help Poorer Ones Through Curbing Illicit Financial Flows

  • Petr Janský


Over the recent years illicit financial flows have attracted increasing attention from researchers and policy makers because of their negative effects on poor countries. In 2013 the mostly rich countries’ OECD acknowledged illicit flows as an issue of “central importance”. Since 2003, the Center for Global Development has been publishing the Commitment to Development Index (CDI) which ranks rich countries on their policies which affect poor countries. This paper rationalizes the inclusion of indicators of policies affecting illicit financial flows in the CDI, in addition to the previously included policies of aid, trade, migration, environment, security, technology and investment. It provides a survey of existing approaches to measuring illicit financial flows, discusses possible metrics which could be included in the CDI, evaluates how such indicators might be incorporated into the CDI, and proposes changes to current CDI indicators. The qualitative indicators of the Financial Secrecy Index emerge as the best contribution to the newly renamed and updated finance component of the CDI.


Fight against poverty Policy coherence for development Commitment to Development Index Financial Secrecy Index Financial secrecy Illicit financial flows 



This work was supported in part by the Czech Science Foundation (under grant GACR 403/10/1235) and the Center for Global Development. I am grateful for comments on an earlier version to Annie Barton, John Christensen, Julia Clark, Michael Clemens, Alex Cobham, James Henry, Mike Lewis, Markus Meinzer, David Roodman, Nicholas Shaxson, Jan Straka, Francis Weyzig, and two anonymous referees. I am responsible, though, for any errors, omissions or misunderstandings.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic StudiesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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