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Corruption, the business environment, and small business growth in India


  • Honorati, Maddalena
  • Mengistae, Taye


This paper estimates a dynamic business growth equation on a sample of small-scale manufacturers. The results suggest that excessive labor regulation, power shortages, and problems of access to finance are significant influences on industrial growth in India. The expected annual sales growth rate of an enterprise is lower where labor regulation is greater, power shortages are more severe, and cash flow constraints are stronger. The effects of each of the three factors on business growth seem also to depend on a fourth element, namely, corruption. Specifically, labor regulation affects the growth only of enterprises for which corruption is not a factor in business decisions. By contrast, power shortages seem to be a drag on the growth only of enterprises self-reportedly held back by corruption. Lastly, sales growth is constrained by cash flow only in businesses that are not affected by labor regulation, power shortages, or corruption. The analysis uses corruption as a proxy for the quality of"property rights institutions"and considers labor regulation and small business financing as instances of"contracting institutions."The findings on the interaction between corruption and other aspects of business environment then seems to indicate that the quality of property rights institutions exerts more abiding influence on economic outcomes than the quality of contracting institutions. Moreover, there might also be a hierarchy among contracting institutions in their effect on manufacturing growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Honorati, Maddalena & Mengistae, Taye, 2007. "Corruption, the business environment, and small business growth in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4338, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4338

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Bond & Julie Ann Elston & Jacques Mairesse & Benoît Mulkay, 2003. "Financial Factors and Investment in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Comparison Using Company Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 153-165, February.
    2. Honorati, Maddalena & Mengistae, Taye, 2007. "Corruption, business environment, and small business fixed investment in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4356, The World Bank.
    3. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    4. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    5. Stephen Bond & Costas Meghir, 1994. "Dynamic Investment Models and the Firm's Financial Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 197-222.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
    7. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    8. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2005. "Investment Climate and Firm Performance in Developing Economies," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-31, October.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Borin & Enrica Di Stefano, 2016. "Economic reforms in China and India: past and future challenges," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 337, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Jean-Jacques Dethier & Maximilian Hirn & Stéphane Straub, 2011. "Explaining Enterprise Performance in Developing Countries with Business Climate Survey Data," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 258-309, August.
    3. Bhavani, T.A. & Bhanumurthy, N.R., 2014. "Financial Access - Measurement and Determinants: A Case Study of Unorganised Manufacturing Enterprises in India," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 49(1), pages 85-108.
    4. Thomas Gries & Ha van Dung, 2014. "Institutional environment, human capital, and firm growth: Evidence from Vietnam," Working Papers CIE 83, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    5. Malay Biswas, 2017. "Are They Efficient in the Middle? Using Propensity Score Estimation for Modeling Middlemen in Indian Corporate Corruption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 141(3), pages 563-586, March.
    6. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9802-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Umidjon Abdullaev & Marcello Estevao, 2013. "Growth and Employment in the Dominican Republic; Options for a Job-Rich Growth," IMF Working Papers 13/40, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Gatti, Roberta & Honorati, Maddalena, 2007. "Informality among Formal Firms: Firm-level, Cross-country Evidence on Tax Compliance and Access to Credit," CEPR Discussion Papers 6597, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Şeker, Murat & Yang, Judy S., 2014. "Bribery solicitations and firm performance in the Latin America and Caribbean region," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 246-264.

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    Labor Markets; Labor Policies; Economic Growth; Access to Finance; Achieving Shared Growth;

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