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Corruption and productivity : firm-level evidence from the BEEPS survey

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  • De Rosa, Donato
  • Gooroochurn, Nishaal
  • Gorg, Holger

Abstract

Using enterprise data for the economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS, this study examines the effects of corruption on productivity. Corruption is narrowly defined as the occurrence of informal payments to government officials to ease the day-to-day operation of firms. The effects of this"bribe tax"on productivity are compared to the consequences of red tape, which may be understood as imposing a"time tax"on firms. When testing effects in the full sample, only the bribe tax appears to have a negative impact on firm-level productivity, while the effect of the time tax is insignificant. At the same time, unlike similar studies using country-level data, firm level analysis allows a direct test of the"efficient grease"hypothesis by investigating whether corruption may increase productivity by helping reduce the time tax on firms. Results provide no evidence of a trade-off between the time and the bribe taxes, implying that bribing does not emerge as a second-best option to achieve higher productivity by helping circumvent cumbersome bureaucratic requirements. When controlling for EU membership the effects of the bribe tax are more harmful in non-EU countries. This suggests that the surrounding environment influences the way in which firm behaviour affects firm performance. In particular, in countries where corruption is more prevalent and the legal framework is weaker, bribery is more harmful for firm-level productivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5348.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5348

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Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Political Economy; Economic Theory&Research; Emerging Markets;

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  1. Fisman, Raymond & Svensson, Jakob, 2007. "Are corruption and taxation really harmful to growth? Firm level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 63-75, May.
  2. Toke S. Aidt & Jayasri Dutta, 2008. "Policy Compromises: Corruption And Regulation In A Democracy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 335-360, November.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2002. "Regulation and Investment," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 549, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  5. Toke Aidt & Jayasri Dutta & Vania Sena, 2006. "Governance Regimes, Corruption and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 15_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
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  7. Toke S. Aidt, 2009. "Corruption, institutions, and economic development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 271-291, Summer.
  8. Kaufmann, Daniel & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1999. "Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," MPRA Paper 8209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Paldam, Martin, 2002. "The cross-country pattern of corruption: economics, culture and the seesaw dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 215-240, June.
  10. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
  11. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger, 2006. "Multinationals' Productivity Advantage: Scale or Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 5841, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat, 2005. "Does corruption grease or sand the wheels of growth?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 69-97, January.
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  14. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Simplice A, Asongu & Oasis, Kodila-Tedika, 2013. "Crime and conflicts in Africa: consequences of corruption?," MPRA Paper 44043, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Simplice A, Asongu & Oasis, Kodila-Tedika, 2013. "Fighting African Conflicts and Crimes: Which Governance Tools Matter?," MPRA Paper 44044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Lau, Chi Keung Marco & Demir, Ender & Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin, 2013. "Experience-based corporate corruption and stock market volatility: Evidence from emerging markets," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 1-13.
  4. Léonce Ndikumana, 2013. "The Private Sector as Culprit and Victim of Corruption in Africa," Working Papers wp330, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  5. Kodila Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Consequences De La Corruption : Panorama Empirique
    [Consequences of Corruption : Empirical survey]
    ," MPRA Paper 41482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. A. Lasagni & A. Nifo & G. Vecchione, 2012. "Firm productivity and institutional quality. Evidence from Italian industry," Economics Department Working Papers 2012-EP07, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  7. Anna Kochanova, 2012. "The Impact of Bribery on Firm Performance: Evidence from Central and Eastern European Countries," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp473, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  8. Jiang, Ting & Nie, Huihua, 2014. "The stained China miracle: Corruption, regulation, and firm performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 366-369.
  9. Fungácová , Zuzana & Kochanova, Anna & Weill, Laurent, 2014. "Does money buy credit? Firm-level evidence on bribery and bank debt," BOFIT Discussion Papers 4/2014, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

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