There appears to be a strong inverse correlation between corruption and economic liberalization. More competition, fewer rules and regulations, smaller bureaucracies and state-owned enterprises all reduce opportunities for crooked officials to line their pockets. Corruption is a drag on growth because it acts like a capriciously imposed tax. Transparency International has tracked corruption around the world with its Corruption Perception Index. It ranked Chile, with its open economy and tradition of civic rectitude, as the most honest country in Latin America. But Venezuela is seen as the most corrupt of the region’s large economies; smaller countries like Paraguay and Honduras do even worse. Brazil and Mexico have both made considerable progress in cutting corruption the last five years. Brazil improved the most, with a 50% rise in its index and Mexico rose 7%. Argentina, which made so much progress in the early 1990s, slipped the most with a 43% fall as the momentum of reform slowed.