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Forbidden Payment: Foreign Bribery and American Business After 1977

  • James R. Hines, Jr.

The United States prohibits American individuals and corporations from bribing foreign government officials. Legislation enacted in 1976 and 1977 stipulates tax penalties, fines, and even prison terms for executives of American companies that pay illegal bribes. This paper examines the effect of US anti-bribery legislation on the operations of US firms in bribe-prone countries after 1977. Four separate indicators reveal that US business activities in these countries fell sharply after passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. These results suggest that this unilateral action by the United States served to weaken the competitive positions of American firms without significantly reducing the importance of bribery to foreign business transactions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5266.

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Date of creation: Sep 1995
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5266
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  1. Hines, James R, Jr & Rice, Eric M, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-82, February.
  2. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  4. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1988. "Industrial Policy and International Competition in Wide-Bodied Jet Aircraft," NBER Chapters, in: Trade Policy Issues and Empirical Analysis, pages 45-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Wheeler, David & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "International investment location decisions : The case of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 57-76, August.
  6. John L Graham, 1984. "The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A New Perspective," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 15(3), pages 107-121, September.
  7. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1975. "The economics of corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 187-203, February.
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