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Foreign investment and bribery: A firm-level analysis of corruption in Vietnam

Author

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  • Gueorguiev, Dimitar
  • Malesky, Edmund

Abstract

Among the concerns faced by countries pondering the costs and benefits of greater economic openness to international capital flows is the worry that new and powerful external actors will exert a corrupting influence on the domestic economy. In this paper, we use a novel empirical strategy, drawn from research in experimental psychology, to test the linkage between foreign direct investment (FDI) and corruption. The prevailing literature has produced confused and contradictory results on this vital relationship due to errors in their measurement of corruption which are correlated with FDI inflows. When a less biased operationalization is employed, we find clear evidence of corruption during both registration and procurement procedures in Vietnam. The prevalence of corruption, however, is not associated with inflows of FDI. On the contrary, one measure of economic openness appears to be the most important driver of reductions in Vietnamese corruption: the wave of domestic legislation, which accompanied the country's bilateral trade liberalization agreement with the United States (US-BTA), significantly reduced bribery during business registration.

Suggested Citation

  • Gueorguiev, Dimitar & Malesky, Edmund, 2012. "Foreign investment and bribery: A firm-level analysis of corruption in Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 111-129.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:23:y:2012:i:2:p:111-129
    DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2011.11.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Demenet & Hoang-Anh Ho & Sarah Morcillo, 2017. "Firm-level corruption: Unravelling sand from grease," WIDER Working Paper Series 123, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Franco, Chiara & Sanfilippo, Marco & Seric, Adnan, 2015. "What makes linkages "good" linkages? Firms, the investment climate and business support services in Vietnam," IOB Working Papers 2015.09, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
    3. Addis G. Birhanu & Alfonso Gambardella & Giovanni Valentini, 2016. "Bribery and investment: Firm-level evidence from Africa and Latin America," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(9), pages 1865-1877, September.
    4. repec:voj:journl:v:63:y:2016:i:3:p:259-271 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hamdi, Helmi & Hakimi, Abdelaziz, 2015. "Corruption, FDI and Growth: All the truths of a corrupted regime before and after the social upsurge in Tunisia," MPRA Paper 63748, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Antonio Bojanic, 2014. "The effect of coca and FDI on the level of corruption in Bolivia," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-23, December.
    7. Jan Hanousek & Anastasiya Shamshur & Jiri Tresl, 2017. "Firm Efficiency, Foreign Ownership and CEO Gender in Corrupt Environments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp595, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vietnam; FDI; Corruption; Unmatched count technique; Bribery; List question;

    JEL classification:

    • P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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