1) I Paid a Bribe, a bribe-tracking site with a focus on South India. Has anyone ever estimated the damage that the prevalence of bribes in South Asia does to economies? Also check out the zero rupee note and Transparency International. Future project: multiple regression for happiness indices against factors including transparency (if not already done).
2) Supposedly the 90s were more violent, and the narrative was that the end of the Cold War freed up more national interests to fight without touching off World War III. Turns out violence has decreased steadily since WWII (including in the 90s), and the tail end of Stephen Pinker's observation of a six-century decline is mirrored in this graph. There were however more non-governmental conflicts. This is an interesting development; growth of non-governmental warfare ironically only possible in a wealthier world? There has not been any post-colonial fighting since the 70s, and France was involved in the most international conflicts since WWII. (Really.)