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Corruption and Growth: Exploring the Investment Channel

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  • Léonce Ndikumana

    () (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and UNECA, Addis Ababa)

  • Mina Baliamoune-Lutz

    () (University of North Florida)

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of corruption on public and private investment in African countries as a way of exploring one channel through which corruption undermines growth. The empirical results indicate that corruption affects economic growth directly and through its impact on investment. We find that corruption has a negative and significant effect on domestic investment and that corruption affects public and private investment differently. The results indicate that corruption has a positive effect on public investment while it has a negative effect on private investment. The positive association between public investment and corruption supports the view that corrupt bureaucrats seek to increase capital expenditure (over maintenance expenditures) to maximize private gains (rent-seeking). In contrast, the results confirm that corruption discourages private investment, suggesting that corruption increases the costs of doing business while raising uncertainty over expected returns to capital. The results support the view that corruption hampers growth and call for institutional reforms to improve the quality of governance as a prerequisite for achieving investment-led growth. JEL Categories:

Suggested Citation

  • Léonce Ndikumana & Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2008. "Corruption and Growth: Exploring the Investment Channel," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2008-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2008-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lorenzo Pellegrini & Reyer Gerlagh, 2004. "Corruption's Effect on Growth and its Transmission Channels," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 429-456, August.
    2. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, 2002. "Corruption, economic growth, and income inequality in Africa," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 183-209, November.
    3. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
    4. Léonce Ndikumana & Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2007. "The Growth Effects of Openness to Trade and the Role of Institutions: New Evidence from African Countries," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2007-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    5. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-1042, July.
    6. Johann Graf Lambsdorff, 2003. "How Corruption Affects Productivity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 457-474, November.
    7. Thierry Verdier & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 194-211, March.
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    9. Dal Bo, Ernesto & Rossi, Martin A., 2007. "Corruption and inefficiency: Theory and evidence from electric utilities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 939-962, June.
    10. Léonce Ndikumana & Adam Elhiraika, 2007. "Reserves Accumulation in African Countries: Sources, Motivations, and Effects," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2007-12, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    11. Léonce Ndikumana, 2006. "Corruption and Pro-Poor Growth Outcomes: Evidence and Lessons for African Countries," Working Papers wp120, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    12. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 259-267, 04/05.
    13. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    14. Bleaney, Michael & Greenaway, David, 2001. "The impact of terms of trade and real exchange rate volatility on investment and growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 491-500, August.
    15. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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