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Anti-corruption programmes in post-communist transition countries and changes in the business environment, 1999-2002


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  • Franklin Steves

    (European Bank of Reconstruction and Development)

  • Alan Rousso

    (European Bank of Reconstruction and Development)


This paper analyses the anti-corruption activities of 24 transition countries in the period 1999-2002. These activities are divided into omnibus anti-corruption programmes, legislative reform aimed at tackling corruption, and adherence to international anti-corruption conventions. The paper presents a new measure for determining the extent of anti-corruption activity undertaken in these three categories during 1999-2002. Using the results of a large survey of firms across the region, the paper shows that countries with low levels of administrative corruption were more likely to adopt intensive anti-corruption programmes than countries with high levels of administrative corruption, independent of the level of state capture Across the transition countries, omnibus anti-corruption programmes and membership in international anti-corruption conventions have not led to reductions in the level of either administrative corruption or state capture – at least in this relatively short time period – while new or amended laws aimed at tackling corruption have led to reductions in administrative corruption, but not in levels of state capture. Finally, the paper finds that perceptions of corruption – measured in terms of the degree to which firms consider corruption to be an obstacle to the operation and growth of their business – are positively correlated with the intensity of anti-corruption programmes. This finding suggests that by launching high-profile anti-corruption initiatives, governments may be more likely to heighten managers’ perceptions of the problem rather than to reduce the impact of corruption on firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist in its series Working Papers with number 85.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebd:wpaper:85

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Keywords: business environment; law; governance; corruption; state capture; anti-corruption; legislative reform;

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  1. Islam, Roumeen, 2003. "do more transparent government govern better?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3077, The World Bank.
  2. Huther, Jeff & Shah, Anwar, 2000. "Anti-corruption policies and programs : a framework for evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2501, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas Jacquemet, 2005. "Corruption as Betrayal : Experimental Evidence on Corruption Under Delegation," Working Papers 0506, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  2. Botezatu, Elena, 2006. "Regional cooperation in Central and Southeastern Europe: the Romanian experience in fighting corruption," MPRA Paper 3163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Claudia Trentini & Malinka Koparanova, 2013. "Corruption and entrepreneurship: does gender matter?," ECE Discussion Papers Series 2013_1, UNECE.


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