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Firm-Level Corruption in Vietnam

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  • John Rand
  • Finn Tarp

Abstract

This article uses panel data from a survey of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam to uncover which firms pay bribes and which do not. We also study how bribe paying evolved between 2005 and 2007 and test how the determinants of bribes changed between the two years. Three sets of insights emerge. First, bribe incidence is highly associated with firm-level differences in visibility, sunk costs, ability to pay, and some, but not all, types of interaction with public officials. Second, the magnitudes of bribes are distinctly higher for firms, which get preferential tax benefits and government contracts. Third, the observed decrease in bribe incidence between 2005 and 2007 is largely driven by significant behavioral changes. These behavioral changes seem to be associated with policy initiatives to improve law enforcement and increased media focus on punitive actions against corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • John Rand & Finn Tarp, 2012. "Firm-Level Corruption in Vietnam," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(3), pages 571-595.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/664022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jakob Svensson, 2003. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a Cross Section of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230.
    2. Xun Wu, 2009. "Determinants of Bribery in Asian Firms: Evidence from the World Business Environment Survey," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 75-88, June.
    3. Nguyen, Binh T. & Albrecht, James W. & Vroman, Susan B. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 2007. "A quantile regression decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 466-490.
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    5. McKenzie, David & Seynabou Sakho, Yaye, 2010. "Does it pay firms to register for taxes? The impact of formality on firm profitability," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 15-24.
    6. 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.
    7. Dabla-Norris, Era & Gradstein, Mark & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2008. "What causes firms to hide output? The determinants of informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 1-27, February.
    8. Clarke, George R. G. & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2004. "Privatization, competition, and corruption: how characteristics of bribe takers and payers affect bribes to utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2067-2097, August.
    9. Henrik Hansen & John Rand & Finn Tarp, 2009. "Enterprise Growth and Survival in Vietnam: Does Government Support Matter?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(7), pages 1048-1069, August.
    10. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nguyen, Thuy Thu & van Dijk, Mathijs A., 2012. "Corruption, growth, and governance: Private vs. state-owned firms in Vietnam," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2935-2948.
    2. Liu, Ye & An, Yunbi & Zhang, Jinqing, 2016. "Bribe payments under regulatory decentralization: Evidence from rights offering regulations in China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 61-75.
    3. Conor M. O'Toole & Finn Tarp, 2014. "Corruption And The Efficiency Of Capital Investment In Developing Countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(5), pages 567-597, July.
    4. Soans, Aaron & Abe, Masato, 2016. "Bribery, corruption and bureaucratic hassle: Evidence from Myanmar," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 41-56.
    5. 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.
    6. Peter Grajzl & Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl & Katarina Zajc, 2016. "Inside post-socialist courts: the determinants of adjudicatory outcomes in Slovenian commercial disputes," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, pages 85-115.
    7. 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).
    8. Tien Manh Vu & Hiroyuki Yamada & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2014. "The rise and fall of multinational enterprises in Vietnam: survival analysis using census data during 2000-2011," OSIPP Discussion Paper 14E001, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    9. Quoc-Anh Do & Trang Van Nguyen & Anh N. Tran, 2013. "Do People Pay Higher Bribes for Urgent Services ?: Evidence from Informal Payements to Doctors in Vietnam," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/3tk4fhvbi18, Sciences Po.

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