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Firm Registration and Bribes: Results from a Microenterprise Survey in Africa

  • Clarke, George R.G.

If corrupt bureaucrats target registered firms, then corruption may discourage registration. Using data from a survey of 4,801 microenterprises in Zambia, this paper looks at whether corruption is a more or less serious problem for registered firms. The paper finds results consistent with the cross-country evidence—registered firms appear to be more concerned about corruption than unregistered firms. This suggests that remaining informal and out-of-sight might reduce the burden of corruption. The paper also looks at two possible reasons why registered firms might be more concerned about corruption. It finds that there is little evidence that government officials specifically target registered firms. Registered firms were more likely to be involved in transactions with government or parastatal officials that could involve bribes—possibly explaining why they are more concerned about corruption than other firms are—but they were no more likely to pay bribes during these transactions.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/31857/1/MPRA_paper_31857.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 31857.

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Date of creation: 25 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31857
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  1. Alejandro Gaviria, 2002. "Assessing the Effects of Corruption and Crime on Firm Performance: Evidence from Latin America," INVESTIGACIÓN ECONÓMICA EN COLOMBIA 001902, FUNDACIÓN PONDO.
  2. Friedrich Schneider & Robert Klinglmair, 2004. "Shadow Economies Around the World: What Do We Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  3. Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Seminar Papers 713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. James May & William Pyle & Paul Sommers, 2002. "Does Governance Explain Unofficial Activity?," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0201, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  5. Friedrich Schneider, 2004. "Shadow Economies around the World: What do we really know?," IAW Discussion Papers 16, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  6. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World; Size, Causes, and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2006. "Corruption and the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  10. Gonzalez, Alvaro & Ernesto Lopez-Cordova, J. & E. Valladares, Elio, 2007. "The incidence of graft on developing-country firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4394, The World Bank.
  11. Alejandro Gaviria Uribe, 2000. "Assessing the effects of corruption and crime on firm performance," INFORMES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 002031, FEDESARROLLO.
  12. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  13. Andreas Buehn & Friedrich Schneider, 2012. "Corruption and the shadow economy: like oil and vinegar, like water and fire?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 172-194, February.
  14. Safavian, Mehnaz S. & Graham, Douglas H. & Gonzalez-Vega, Claudio, 2001. "Corruption and Microenterprises in Russia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1215-1224, July.
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