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Business corruption, uncertainty and risk aversion

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  • Tina Søreide

Abstract

The presence of business-corruption in a market provokes firms to make choices between legal business approaches and illegal bribery. The outcome of a chosen strategy will usually be uncertain at the time the decision is made, and a firm's decision will depend partly on its attitude towards risk. Drawing on the empirical data provided by a survey of 82 Norwegian exporting businesses, the paper proposes a theory about firm's choices between legal and illegal business practices. It begins by describing the risks, uncertainties and benefits attached to bribery, and specifies their impact on firm's propensity to offer bribes. It then demonstrates how risk averse firms can be more inclined to offer bribes than risk neutral, and even risk attracted firms. Although the analysis diverges from existing theory in stressing the differences between illegal and legal forms of rent-seeking, the findings correspond to the results reported in the literature on legal forms of rent-seeking. JEL D81, F23, K40

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway in its series CMI Working Papers with number WP 2006: 4.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2006-4

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Keywords: Rent-seeking Corruption Firms Risk JEL D81; F23; K40;

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References

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  1. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  2. Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does "Grease Money" Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," NBER Working Papers 7093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andvig, J.C. & Ove Moene, K., 1988. "How Corruption May Corrupt," Memorandum 20/1988, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. Foster, Edward, 1981. "The Treatment of Rents in Cost-Benefit Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 171-78, March.
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  7. Paulo Klinger Monteiro & Flavio Menezes, 2001. "Corruption and auctions," Microeconomics 0105002, EconWPA.
  8. Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2005. "Consequences and causes of corruption: What do we know from a cross-section of countries?," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-34-05, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
  9. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
  10. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Standard Risk Aversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf, 2002. " Corruption and Rent-Seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 97-125, October.
  12. Skaperdas, Stergios & Gan, Li, 1995. "Risk Aversion in Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 951-62, July.
  13. Konrad, Kai A & Schlesinger, Harris, 1997. "Risk Aversion in Rent-Seeking and Rent-Augmenting Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1671-83, November.
  14. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114, February.
  15. Hillman, Arye L & Katz, Eliakim, 1984. "Risk-Averse Rent Seekers and the Social Cost of Monopoly Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 104-10, March.
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