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Bribes, Lobbying and Development

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  • Harstad, Bård
  • Svensson, Jakob

Abstract

Why are firms more likely to pay bribes to bureaucrats to bend the rules in developing countries while they instead lobby the government to change the rules in more developed ones? Should we expect an evolution from bribing to lobbying, or can countries get trapped in a bribing equilibrium forever? Corruption and lobbying are to some extent substitutes. By bribing, a firm may persuade a bureaucrat to "bend the rules" and thus avoid the cost of compliance. Alternatively, firms may lobby the government to "change the rules". But there are important differences. While a change in the rules is more permanent, the bureaucrat can hardly commit not to ask for bribes also in the future. Based on this assumption, we show that (i) an equilibrium with corruption discourages firms to invest, (ii) firms bribe if the level of development is low, but (iii) they switch to lobbying if the level of development is sufficiently high. Combined, the economy might evolve from a bribing to a lobbying equilibrium, but too large bribes may discourage the necessary investments for lobbying eventually to become an equilibrium. The outcome is a poverty trap with pervasive corruption. This poverty trap is more likely if penalties on corruption are large and the regulatory costs are high.

Suggested Citation

  • Harstad, Bård & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Bribes, Lobbying and Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5759
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    Cited by:

    1. Krishnendu Ghosh DASTIDAR & YANO Makoto, 2017. "Corruption, Market Quality and Entry Deterrence in Emerging Economies," Discussion papers 17010, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Ahmed, Faisal Z. & Greenleaf, Anne & Sacks, Audrey, 2014. "The Paradox of Export Growth in Areas of Weak Governance: The Case of the Ready Made Garment Sector in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 258-271.
    3. Francesco Giovannoni, 2011. "Lobbying versus Corruption," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(1), pages 12-16, 05.
    4. Dorottya Sallai, 2013. "European Union Lobbying and the Golden Cage of Post-Socialist Network Capitalism in Hungary," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(5), pages 948-964, September.
    5. Kiselev, Eugene, 2013. "Lobbying, Corruption, and Regulatory Constraints: An Analysis of Eastern European Business Associations," MPRA Paper 51936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Andreas Assiotis & Kevin Sylwester, 2014. "Do the Effects of Corruption upon Growth Differ Between Democracies and Autocracies?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 581-594, August.
    7. Paul Dragos Aligica & Vlad Tarko, 2014. "Crony Capitalism: Rent Seeking, Institutions and Ideology," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 156-176, May.
    8. Quoc-Anh Do & Yen-Teik Lee & Bang Dang Nguyen, 2016. "Directors as Connectors: The Impact of the External Networks of Directors on Firms," Sciences Po publications 52, Sciences Po.
    9. Raffaella Coppier & Mauro Costantini & Gustavo Piga, 2013. "The Role Of Monitoring Of Corruption In A Simple Endogenous Growth Model," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 1972-1985, October.
    10. Andreas Assiotis & Kevin Sylwester, 2013. "Do the effects of corruption upon growth differ between democracies and autocracies?," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 06-2013, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    11. Pieroni, L. & d'Agostino, G., 2013. "Corruption and the effects of economic freedom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 54-72.
    12. Bellettini, Giorgio & Berti Ceroni, Carlotta & Prarolo, Giovanni, 2013. "Political persistence and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 165-179.
    13. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
    14. Tomáš Otáhal, 2014. "Mises, Hayek and Corruption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(3), pages 399-404, February.
    15. Vetter, Stefan, 2013. "Delegating decision rights for anticipated rewards as an alternative to corruption: An experiment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 188-204.
    16. Hanousek, Jan & Shamshur, Anastasiya & Tresl, Jiri, 2015. "Is bread gained by deceit sweet to a man? Corruption and firm efficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 10951, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Octavian Strimbu & Patrick Gonzalez, 2013. "Does Transparency Reduce Corruption ?," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2013-5, CREATE.
    18. Roy Cerqueti & Raffaella Coppier, 2015. "Corruptibility and tax evasion," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 355-373, April.
    19. Martin Gregor, 2011. "Corporate lobbying: A review of the recent literature," Working Papers IES 2011/32, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2011.
    20. Nurullah Gur, 2012. "Financial Constraints, Quality of Institutions and Firm Size: What Do Perceptions Tell Us?," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 2(2), pages 17-36, December.
    21. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:7:p:1266-1290 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Gupta, Kartick, 2017. "Are oil and gas firms more likely to engage in unethical practices than other firms?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 101-112.
    23. Simona Fabrizi & Steffen Lippert, 2012. "Corruption and the Public Display of Wealth," Working Papers 1202, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.
    24. C. Simon Fan & Chen Lin & Daniel Treisman, 2010. "Embezzlement Versus Bribery," NBER Working Papers 16542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. 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

    corruption; development; lobbying;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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