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Corruption and Cross-Border Investment: Firm-Level Evidence

Author

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  • Beata K. Smarzynska

    ()

  • Shang-Jin Wei

    ()

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Beata K. Smarzynska & Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Corruption and Cross-Border Investment: Firm-Level Evidence," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 494, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-494
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    File URL: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/39879/3/wp494.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 2014. "When does FDI have positive spillovers? Evidence from 17 transition market economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 954-969.
    2. Elizabeth Asiedu & James Freeman, 2009. "The Effect of Corruption on Investment Growth: Evidence from Firms in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Transition Countries ," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 200-214, May.
    3. Doidge, Craig & Andrew Karolyi, G. & Stulz, Rene M., 2007. "Why do countries matter so much for corporate governance?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-39, October.
    4. Di Guardo, Maria Chiara & Marrocu, Emanuela & Paci, Raffaele, 2016. "The effect of local corruption on ownership strategy in cross-border mergers and acquisitions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 4225-4241.
    5. Odysseas Katsaitis & Dimitris Doulos, 2009. "The Impact of EU Structural Funds on FDI," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 563-578, November.
    6. Florence Charlier & Charles N'Cho-Oguie, 2009. "Sustaining Reforms for Inclusive Growth in Cameroon : A Development Policy Review," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2676.
    7. Michael Berlemann & Jane Tilgner, 2006. "Determinanten der Standortwahl von Unternehmen : ein Literaturüberblick," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(06), pages 14-24, December.
    8. Petrou, Andreas P. & Thanos, Ioannis C., 2014. "The “grabbing hand” or the “helping hand” view of corruption: Evidence from bank foreign market entries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 444-454.
    9. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 2007. "When Does FDI Have Positive Spillovers? Evidence from 17 Emerging Market Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 3079, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Wu, Shih-Ying, 2006. "Corruption and cross-border investment by multinational firms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 839-856, December.
    11. Michael Berlemann & Sabine Engelmann & Matthias Göthel & Beate Henschel & Carsten Pohl & Joachim Ragnitz & Heinz Schmalholz, 2008. "Die neuen Bundesländer im internationalen Standortvergleich," ifo Dresden Studien, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 43.
    12. Facchini, Giovanni & Segnana, Maria Luigia, 2003. "Growth at the EU periphery: the next enlargement," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 827-862.
    13. Carsten Pohl, 2004. "Die Entwicklung der Korruption in Mittel- und Osteuropa," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(06), pages 23-25, December.
    14. Unal Zenginobuz & Sumru Altug, 2009. "What has been the Role of Investment in Turkey's Growth Performance?," Working Papers 2009/02, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    15. Yong Ting Aw & Tuck Cheong Tang, 2009. "The Determinants of Inward Foreign Direct Investment: the Case of Malaysia," Monash Economics Working Papers 22-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    16. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p2:p:2421-2430 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Leonardo Andrade Rocha & Ahmad Saeed Khan & Patrícia Verônica Pinheiro Sales Lima & Maria Ester Dal Poz & Fernando Porfirio Soares De Oliveira, 2016. "Corrupção, Burocracia E Outras Falhas Institucionais: O “Câncer” Da Inovação E Do Desenvolvimento," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 090, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    18. Duanmu, Jing-Lin, 2011. "The effect of corruption distance and market orientation on the ownership choice of MNEs: Evidence from China," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 162-174, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Foreign direct investment; Multinational firms;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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