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Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms

  • Svensson, Jakob

    ()

    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

This paper uses an unique data set on corruption containing quantitative information on estimated bribe payments of Ugandan firms. The data has two striking features; not all firms report they need to pay bribes; and, there is a considerable variation in reported graft across firms facing similar institutions/policies. To explain these patterns we construct a simple bargaining model. The model yields predictions on both the incidence and the level of graft. Consistent with the model we find that variation in policies/regulations (across industries) explain the incidence of corruption, while variation in profitability and technology choice explain the variation in bribes for the group of bribe paying firms. These findings suggest that public officials act as price (bribe) discriminators, and that prices of public services are endogenously determined in order to extract bribes.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 713.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 24 May 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2003.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0713
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/

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  1. Johnson, Simon & McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Why do Firms Hide? Bribes and Unofficial Activity After Communism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Economic data issues," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1465-1514 Elsevier.
  3. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  4. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," NBER Working Papers 6030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 1999. "Confronting competition - investment response and constraints in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2242, The World Bank.
  6. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  7. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  8. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1999. "Why Has Africa Grown Slowly?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  9. Tollison, Robert D, 1982. "Rent Seeking: A Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 575-602.
  10. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-42, July.
  11. Brian Erard & Jonathan S. Feinstein, 1994. "Honesty and Evasion in the Tax Compliance Game," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
  12. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
  13. Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1993. "Honesty and Evasion in the Tax Compliance Game," Carleton Economic Papers 93-06, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 1994.
  14. Bliss, Christopher & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "Does Competition Kill Corruption?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1001-23, October.
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