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The Economics of Repeated Extortion

Author

Listed:
  • Jay Pil Choi

    () (Michigan State University and CESifo)

  • Marcel Thum

    () (Dresden University of Technology, ifo Dresden, and CESifo)

Abstract

We provide a simple model of repeated extortion. In particular, we ask whether corrupt government officials' opportunism to demand more once entrepreneurs have made sunk investments entails further distortion in resource allocations. If the choice of technology is left to the entrepreneurs, the dynamic path of demand schedules will induce entrepreneurs to pursue a ``fly-by-night'' strategy by adopting a technology with an inefficiently low sunk cost component. The unique equilibrium is characterized by a mixed strategy of the government official in future demand. Our model thus explains why arbitrariness is such a central feature of extortion. We also investigate implications of the stability of corrupt regimes for dynamic extortion and discuss alternative applications for our framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay Pil Choi & Marcel Thum, 2004. "The Economics of Repeated Extortion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 203-223, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:35:y:2004:2:p:203-223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ranasinghe, Ashantha, 2017. "Property rights, extortion and the misallocation of talent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 86-110.
    2. Hunt, Jennifer & Laszlo, Sonia, 2005. "Bribery: Who Pays, Who Refuses, What are the Payoffs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5251, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. John Bennett & Saul Estrin, 2006. "Corruption and Bureaucratic Structure in a Developing Economy," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 06-07, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
    4. Jay Choi & Marcel Thum, 2009. "The economics of politically-connected firms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(5), pages 605-620, October.
    5. André Seidel, 2015. "Compliance Costs, Corruption and the Differentiation of Bureaucratic Services," CESifo Working Paper Series 5683, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Thum, Marcel, 2004. "Korruption," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 11/04, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    7. Biswas, Amit K. & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Thum, Marcel, 2012. "Pollution, shadow economy and corruption: Theory and evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 114-125.
    8. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1999. "Inflation and Welfare: Comment on Robert Lucas," NBER Working Papers 6979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Choi, Jay Pil & Thum, Marcel, 2003. "The dynamics of corruption with the ratchet effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 427-443, March.
    10. Joshua Hall & John Levendis, 2017. "The Efficient Corruption Hypothesis and the Dynamics between Economic Freedom, Corruption, and National Income," Working Papers 17-06, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    11. Ajit Mishra & Andrew Samuel, 2016. "Corruption and hold-up: the role of intermediaries," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 575-599, June.
    12. Koessler, Frédéric & Lambert-Mogiliansky, Ariane, 2014. "Extortion and political-risk insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 144-156.
    13. Bassetti, Thomas & Dal Maso, Lorenzo & Lattanzi, Nicola, 2015. "Family businesses in Eastern European countries: How informal payments affect exports," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 219-233.
    14. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:3:p:283-301 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jay Pil Choi & Marcel Thum, 2005. "Corruption And The Shadow Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 817-836, August.
    16. Federico Weinschelbaum, 2000. "Corruption with Competition Among Hidden Principals," Working Papers 24, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jan 2000.
    17. Tomáš Otáhal, 2014. "Mises, Hayek and Corruption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(3), pages 399-404, February.
    18. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Property Rights, Finance, and Entrepreneurship," CESifo Working Paper Series 212, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Ahlin, Christian & Bose, Pinaki, 2007. "Bribery, inefficiency, and bureaucratic delay," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 465-486, September.
    20. André Seidel & Marcel Thum, 2016. "Tax Evasion, Corruption and Market Entry," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(4), pages 377-398, September.
    21. Hanousek, Jan & Kochanova, Anna, 2016. "Bribery environments and firm performance: Evidence from CEE countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 14-28.
    22. Sugata Marjit & André Seidel & Marcel Thum, 2017. "Tax Evasion, Corruption and Tax Loopholes," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 18(3), pages 283-301, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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