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Corruption and Cross-Border Investment: Firm-Level Evidence

  • Beata K. Smarzynska

    ()

  • Shang-Jin Wei

    ()

This paper studies the impact of corruption on inward foreign direct investment using a unique firm-level data set. It examines two effects of corruption simultaneously: a reduction in the volume of foreign investment and a shift in the ownership structure. Corruption makes local bureaucracy less transparent and hence acts as a tax on foreign investors. Moreover, corruption affects the decision to take on a local partner. On the one hand, corruption increases the value of using a local partner to cut through the bureaucratic maze. On the other hand, corruption decreases the effective protection of investor’s intangible assets and lowers the probability that disputes between foreign and domestic partners will be adjudicated fairly, which reduces the value of having a local partner. The importance of protecting intangible assets increases with investor’s technological sophistication, which tilts the preference away from joint ventures in a corrupt country. Empirical evidence shows that corruption reduces inward FDI and shifts the ownership structure towards joint ventures. Technologically more advanced firms are found to be less likely to engage in joint ventures.

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File URL: http://www.wdi.umich.edu/files/Publications/WorkingPapers/wp494.pdf
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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 494.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 15 Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-494
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  1. Wheeler, David & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "International investment location decisions : The case of U.S. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 57-76, August.
  2. Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," IMF Working Papers 00/64, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, February.
  4. Elizabeth Asiedu & Hadi Salehi Esfahani, 2001. "Ownership Structure In Foreign Direct Investment Projects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 647-662, November.
  5. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-42, July.
  6. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  7. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
  8. Javorcik, Beata, 1999. "Composition of Foreign Direct Investment and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Transition Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2228, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Magnus Blomstrom & Mario Zejan, 1989. "Why Do Multinational Firms Seek Out Joint Ventures?," NBER Working Papers 2987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Balasubramanyam, V N & Salisu, M & Sapsford, David, 1996. "Foreign Direct Investment and Growth in EP and IS Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 92-105, January.
  11. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Local Corruption and Global Capital Flows," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 303-354.
  12. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  13. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
  14. Kaufman, Daniel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does"grease money"speed up the wheels of commerce?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2254, The World Bank.
  15. Henisz, Witold J, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Multinational Investment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 334-64, October.
  16. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "Why is Corruption So Much More Taxing Than Tax? Arbitrariness Kills," NBER Working Papers 6255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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