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

Author

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  • Clarke, George R.G.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Clarke, George R.G., 2011. "Firm Registration and Bribes: Results from a Microenterprise Survey in Africa," MPRA Paper 31857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31857
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/31857/1/MPRA_paper_31857.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. 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.
    5. em. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 215-238, July.
    7. Gaviria, Alejandro, 2002. "Assessing the effects of corruption and crime on firm performance: evidence from Latin America," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 245-268, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. BenYishay, Ariel & Pearlman, Sarah, 2014. "Crime and Microenterprise Growth: Evidence from Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 139-152.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Zambia; Africa; Corruption; Petty Corruption; Informality; Bribes; Registration;

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy

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