IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/chieco/v23y2012i2p415-433.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Corruption and firm growth: Evidence from China

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Yuanyuan
  • You, Jing

Abstract

Corruption is one of the most pervasive obstacles to economic and social development. However, in the existing literature it appears that corruption seems to be less harmful in some countries than in others. The most striking examples are well known as the “East Asian paradox”: countries displaying exceptional growth records despite having thriving corruption cultures. The aim of this paper is to explain the high corruption but fast economic growth puzzle in China by providing firm-level evidence of the relation between corruption and growth and investigating how financial development influences the former relationship. Our empirical results show that corruption is likely to contribute to firms' growth. We further highlight the substitution relationship between corruption and financial development on firm growth. This means that corruption appears not to be a vital constraint on firm growth if financial markets are underdeveloped. However, pervasive corruption deters firm growth where there are more developed financial markets. This implies that fast firm growth will not be observed until a later stage of China's development when financial markets are well-functioning and corruption is under control. Furthermore, the substitution relationship exists in the private and state-owned firms. Geographically, similar results can be seen in the Southeast and Central regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Yuanyuan & You, Jing, 2012. "Corruption and firm growth: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 415-433.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:2:p:415-433
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2012.03.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X12000132
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.chieco.2012.03.003?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guariglia, Alessandra & Liu, Xiaoxuan & Song, Lina, 2011. "Internal finance and growth: Microeconometric evidence on Chinese firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 79-94, September.
    2. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2003. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(1), pages 1-31, March.
    3. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    4. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 2000. "Informality and rent-seeking bureaucracies in a model of long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 173-197, August.
    5. Lixin Colin Xu, 2011. "The Effects of Business Environments on Development: Surveying New Firm-level Evidence," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank, vol. 26(2), pages 310-340, August.
    6. David Dollar & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Das (Wasted) Kapital: Firm Ownership and Investment Efficiency in China," IMF Working Papers 2007/009, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-1162, December.
    8. Poncet, Sandra & Steingress, Walter & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2010. "Financial constraints in China: Firm-level evidence," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 411-422, September.
    9. Yingyi Qian & Chenggang Xu, 1993. "Why China's economic reforms differ: the M‐form hierarchy and entry/expansion of the non‐state sector," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 1(2), pages 135-170, June.
    10. Aidt, Toke & Dutta, Jayasri & Sena, Vania, 2008. "Governance regimes, corruption and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 195-220, June.
    11. Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a Cross Section of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230.
    12. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
    13. Rauch, James E. & Evans, Peter B., 2000. "Bureaucratic structure and bureaucratic performance in less developed countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 49-71, January.
    14. Firth, Michael & Fung, Peter M.Y. & Rui, Oliver M., 2006. "Corporate performance and CEO compensation in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 693-714, September.
    15. Bryan W Husted, 1999. "Wealth, Culture, and Corruption," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 30(2), pages 339-359, June.
    16. Kaufman, Daniel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does"grease money"speed up the wheels of commerce?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2254, The World Bank.
    17. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
    18. Yingyi Qian, 1996. "Enterprise reform in China: agency problems and political control," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(2), pages 427-447, October.
    19. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross‐Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    20. Blackburn, Keith & Forgues-Puccio, Gonzalo F., 2009. "Why is corruption less harmful in some countries than in others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 797-810, December.
    21. Ahlin, Christian & Pang, Jiaren, 2008. "Are financial development and corruption control substitutes in promoting growth?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 414-433, June.
    22. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Weill, Laurent, 2010. "Is Corruption an Efficient Grease?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 244-259, March.
    23. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Does Local Financial Development Matter?," Springer Books, in: Damiano Bruno Silipo (ed.), The Banks and the Italian Economy, chapter 0, pages 31-66, Springer.
    24. Neeman Zvika & Paserman M. Daniele & Simhon Avi, 2008. "Corruption and Openness," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, December.
    25. Hongyi Li & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng‐fu Zou, 2000. "Corruption, Income Distribution, and Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 155-182, July.
    26. Chenggang Xu, 2011. "The Fundamental Institutions of China's Reforms and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1076-1151, December.
    27. Ryan Compton & Daniel Giedeman, 2011. "Panel evidence on finance, institutions and economic growth," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(25), pages 3523-3547.
    28. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    29. Hongbin Cai & Hanming Fang & Lixin Colin Xu, 2011. "Eat, Drink, Firms, Government: An Investigation of Corruption from the Entertainment and Travel Costs of Chinese Firms," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 55-78.
    30. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    31. Isaac Ehrlich & Francis T. Lui, 1999. "Bureaucratic Corruption and Endogenous Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 270-293, December.
    32. Yingyi Qian, 2002. "How Reform Worked in China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 473, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    33. 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.
    34. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    35. Keith Blackburn & Yuanyuan Wang, 2009. "Uncertainty, Entrepreneurship and the Organisation of Corruption," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 133, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    36. Mendez, Fabio & Sepulveda, Facundo, 2006. "Corruption, growth and political regimes: Cross country evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 82-98, March.
    37. 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.
    38. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 1997. "Why Don't Poor Countries Catch Up? A Cross-National Test of Institutional Explanation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 590-602, July.
    39. Guariglia, Alessandra & Poncet, Sandra, 2008. "Could financial distortions be no impediment to economic growth after all? Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 633-657, December.
    40. Qian, Yingyi, 2002. "How Reform Worked in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 3447, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    41. Héricourt, Jérôme & Poncet, Sandra, 2009. "FDI and credit constraints: Firm-level evidence from China," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-21, March.
    42. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Wang, Qian & Zhou, Li-An, 2008. "Political connections, financing and firm performance: Evidence from Chinese private firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 283-299, October.
    43. Mo, Pak Hung, 2001. "Corruption and Economic Growth," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 66-79, March.
    44. Rock, Michael T. & Bonnett, Heidi, 2004. "The Comparative Politics of Corruption: Accounting for the East Asian Paradox in Empirical Studies of Corruption, Growth and Investment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 999-1017, June.
    45. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    46. Jean-Jacques Dethier & Maximilian Hirn & Stéphane Straub, 2011. "Explaining Enterprise Performance in Developing Countries with Business Climate Survey Data," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank, vol. 26(2), pages 258-309, August.
    47. Mary Hallward‐Driemeier & Scott Wallsten & Lixin Colin Xu, 2006. "Ownership, investment climate and firm performance," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(4), pages 629-647, October.
    48. Edgardo Campos, J. & Lien, Donald & Pradhan, Sanjay, 1999. "The Impact of Corruption on Investment: Predictability Matters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1059-1067, June.
    49. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-781, August.
    50. World Bank, 2001. "Finance for Growth : Policy Choices in a Volatile World," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 13895, December.
    51. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025.
    52. Jiang, Bing-Bing & LAURENCESON, James & Tang, Kam Ki, 2008. "Share reform and the performance of China's listed companies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 489-501, September.
    53. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    54. Kang, David C., 2002. "Bad Loans to Good Friends: Money Politics and the Developmental State in South Korea," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 177-207, January.
    55. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Cai, Weixing & Hu, Feng & Xu, Fangming & Zheng, Liyi, 2022. "Anti-corruption campaign and corporate cash holdings: Evidence from China," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(PA).
    2. Keith Blackburn & Yuanyuan Wang, 2009. "Uncertainty, Entrepreneurship and the Organisation of Corruption," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 133, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. Keith Blackburn & Gareth Downing, 2015. "Deconcentration, Corruption and Economic Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 209, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    4. Humna Ahsan & Keith Blackburn, 2015. "Human capital and income distribution in a model of corruption," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 208, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    5. Blackburn, Keith & Forgues-Puccio, Gonzalo F., 2009. "Why is corruption less harmful in some countries than in others?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 797-810, December.
    6. Blackburn, Keith & Forgues-Puccio, Gonzalo F., 2010. "Financial liberalization, bureaucratic corruption and economic development," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1321-1339, November.
    7. Gonzalo F. Forgues-Puccio & Ibrahim M. Okumu, 2012. "Does Size Matter? Scale, Corruption and Uncertainty," CDMA Working Paper Series 201207, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    8. Keith Blackburn & Yuanyuan Wang, 2010. "Growth and Development Under Alternative Corruption Regimes," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 137, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    9. Dzhumashev, Ratbek, 2014. "Corruption and growth: The role of governance, public spending, and economic development," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 202-215.
    10. Andrew Hodge & Sriram Shankar & D. S. Prasada Rao & Alan Duhs, 2011. "Exploring the Links Between Corruption and Growth," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 474-490, August.
    11. Keith Blackburn & Rashmi Sarmah, 2006. "Red Tape, Corruption and Finance," Economics Discussion Paper Series 0639, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    12. Keith Blackburn & Niloy Bose & M. Emranul Haque, 2011. "Public Expenditures, Bureaucratic Corruption And Economic Development," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(3), pages 405-428, June.
    13. Blackburn, Keith & Bose, Niloy & Emranul Haque, M., 2006. "The incidence and persistence of corruption in economic development," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2447-2467, December.
    14. Philip Akrofi Atitianti & James Chukwubudom Chikelu, 2021. "Corruption and firm growth: evidence from Nigeria," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 1(5), pages 1-18, May.
    15. Blackburn, Keith & Forgues-Puccio, Gonzalo F., 2007. "Distribution and development in a model of misgovernance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1534-1563, August.
    16. Liu, Tingting & Liu, Yu & Ullah, Barkat & Wei, Zuobao & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2021. "The dark side of transparency in developing countries: The link between financial reporting practices and corruption," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    17. Zhiyong Yao & Yao Huang, 2023. "Quid pro quo," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 29-61, February.
    18. Hasan Ayaydin & Pinar Hayaloglu, 2014. "The Effect of Corruption on Firm Growth: Evidence from Firms in Turkey," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(5), pages 607-624, May.
    19. Toke S. Aidt, 2009. "Corruption, institutions, and economic development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 25(2), pages 271-291, Summer.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Firm growth; Chinese economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:2:p:415-433. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.