IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Corruption, business environment, and small business fixed investment in India


  • Honorati, Maddalena
  • Mengistae, Taye


This paper estimates a structural dynamic business investment equation and an error correction model of fixed assets growth on a sample of predominantly small and mid-size manufacturers in India. The results suggest that excessive labor regulation, power shortages, and problems of access to finance are all significant factors in industrial growth in the country. The estimated effects of labor regulation, power shortages and access to finance on the rate of business investment all vary by states'levels of industrial development and. Perhaps more importantly, they also depend on a fourth institutional factor, namely, corruption. The rate of fixed investment is significantly lower where power shortages are more severe and labor regulation is stronger over the full sample, but each of these impacts is also greater for businesses self-reportedly affected by corruption. Although access to finance does not seem to influence the rate of investment for most firms, there is evidence that investment decisions are constrained by cash flow in enterprises that are unaffected by corruption or power shortages. There are nuances to this story as we take into account regional specificity, but the key result always holds that labor regulation, power shortages and access to finance influence the rate of fixed investment in ways that depend on the incidence of corruption. In interpreting this finding, we would like to think of corruption as a proxy for the quality of property rights institutions in the sense of Acemoglu and Johnson (2005). On the other hand, we regard labor regulation and the financial environment of small businesses in India as instances of what Acemoglu and Johnson (2005) call'contracting institutions'. The analysis finds that the interaction between corruption and other aspects of the institutional environment of fixed investment decisions could be seen consistent with the Acemoglu-Johnson view that the quality of property rights institutions exerts more abiding influence on economic outcomes than the quality of contracting institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Honorati, Maddalena & Mengistae, Taye, 2007. "Corruption, business environment, and small business fixed investment in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4356, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4356

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-853, October.
    2. Warr, Peter G., 1990. "Predictive performance of the World Bank's commodity price projections," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 4(3-4), pages 365-379, December.
    3. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1989. "Forward Discount Bias: Is it an Exchange Risk Premium?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 139-161.
    4. Lewis, Karen K, 1989. "Changing Beliefs and Systematic Rational Forecast Errors with Evidence from Foreign Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 621-636, September.
    5. Gregory Mankiw, N. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1986. "Do we reject too often? : Small sample properties of tests of rational expectations models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 139-145.
    6. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1980. "Survey Evidence on The Rationality of Interest Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 0261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1982. "Wage Expectations in the Labor Market: Survey Evidence on Rationality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 157-161, February.
    8. Figlewski, Stephen & Wachtel, Paul, 1981. "The Formation of Inflationary Expectations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-10, February.
    9. Dominguez, Kathryn M., 1986. "Are foreign exchange forecasts rational? : New evidence from survey data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 277-281.
    10. Dokko, Yoon & Edelstein, Robert H, 1989. "How Well Do Economists Forecast Stock Market Prices? A Study of the Livingston Surveys," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 865-871, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gelb, Alan & Ramachandran, Vijaya & Shah, Manju Kedia & Turner, Ginger, 2007. "What matters to African firms ? the relevance of perceptions data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4446, The World Bank.
    2. 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.
    3. Dairabayeva Karlygash & Carayannis Elias, 2014. "Targeted Trade-Related Policies and Manufacturing Firm Productivity in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Effect of Corruption," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-22, April.
    4. Tidiane Kinda, 2014. "The Quest for Non-Resource-Based FDI; Do Taxes Matter?," IMF Working Papers 14/15, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Honorati, Maddalena & Mengistae, Taye, 2007. "Corruption, the business environment, and small business growth in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4338, The World Bank.
    6. Kinda, Tidiane, 2010. "Investment Climate and FDI in Developing Countries: Firm-Level Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 498-513, April.

    More about this item


    Access to Finance; Economic Theory&Research; Labor Policies; Emerging Markets; Labor Markets;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4356. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.