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Measuring Governance, Corruption and State Capture: How Firms and Bureaucrats Shape the Business Environment in Transition Economies


  • Joel S. Hellman

    (The World Bank)

  • Geraint Jones


  • Daniel Kaufmann

    (The World Bank)

  • Mark Schankerman

    (London School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research)


Recent studies have focussed on the characteristics and policies of the state to explain the extent and causes of corruption, with little attention paid to the role played by firms. Consequently, the links between corporate governance and national governance have been unexplored. This paper summarises the results of the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS) across 20 transition economies, providing an assessment of governance and corruption from the perspective of firms. The BEEPS is part of the global World Business Environment Survey being carried out by the World Bank. The survey design permits an in-depth empirical analysis of governance and corruption, unbundling governance into its component dimensions. This allows a more detailed quantitative assessment of corruption, a more nuanced understanding of the causes of the problem and as a result a stronger foundation for policy advice. Particular attention is paid to 'state capture' by parts of the corporate sector (i.e. the propensity of firms to shape the underlying 'rules of the game' including 'purchase' of legislation and court decisions). The survey also provides measures of other dimensions of 'grand corruption', such as that related to public procurement. Typically, cross-country surveys suffer from a potential bias if firms have a tendency to systematically over- or under-estimate the extent of problems in their own country. We implement a simple method for evaluating the extent of this 'country perception bias' and find little evidence pointing to such bias in the BEEPS.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel S. Hellman & Geraint Jones & Daniel Kaufmann & Mark Schankerman, 2003. "Measuring Governance, Corruption and State Capture: How Firms and Bureaucrats Shape the Business Environment in Transition Economies," Development and Comp Systems 0308004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0308004
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; pages: 47

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
    2. Dalia Marin & Daniel Kaufmann & Bogdan Gorochowskij, 2000. "Barter in Transition Economies: Competing Explanations Confront Ukranian Data," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 287, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    3. Sachs, Jeffrey D, 1996. "The Transition at Mid Decade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 128-133, May.
    4. Kaufman, Daniel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does"grease money"speed up the wheels of commerce?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2254, The World Bank.
    5. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    6. Selowsky, Marcelo & Martin, Ricardo, 1997. "Policy Performance and Output Growth in the Transition Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 349-353, May.
    7. Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Corruption in economic development - beneficial grease, minor annoyance, or major obstacle?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2048, The World Bank.
    8. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    9. J. Stiglitz, 1999. "Whither Reform? Ten Years of the Transition," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 7.
    10. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
    11. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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    Cited by:

    1. Teuea Toatu, 2002. "Unravelling the Pacific Paradox," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec02-2, International and Development Economics.
    2. Erik Berglof & Patrick Bolton, 2002. "The Great Divide and Beyond: Financial Architecture in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 77-100, Winter.
    3. repec:wsi:jdexxx:v:22:y:2017:i:03:n:s1084946717500182 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bouton, Lawrence & Tiongson, Erwin R., 2010. "Subjective perceptions of financing constraints: How well do they reflect credit market conditions?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 98-105, June.
    5. Geoffrey Wyatt, 2002. "Corruption, Productivity and Transition," CERT Discussion Papers 0205, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    6. Irina Slinko & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya & Evgeny Yakovlev, 2005. "Laws for Sale: Evidence from Russia," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 284-318.
    7. Buccirossi, Paolo & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2006. "Leniency policies and illegal transactions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1281-1297, August.
    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. José Ernesto Amorós & Pekka Stenholm, 2013. "The Influence of the Quality of Government Institutions on Entrepreneurial Motivation: Exploring the Variance across Countries," Working Papers 1401, Departament Empresa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, revised Dec 2013.
    10. Scott Gehlbach, 2003. "Taxability and Government Support of Business Activity: Testing Theories of Social-Contract Failure," Working Papers w0028, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    11. Amoros, Jose Ernesto, 2009. "Entrepreneurship and Quality of Institutions," WIDER Working Paper Series 007, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Evgeny Yakovlev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2005. "State Capture: From Yeltsin to Putin," Working Papers w0052, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    13. Dawn L. Keig & Lance Eliot Brouthers & Victor B. Marshall, 2015. "Formal and Informal Corruption Environments and Multinational Enterprise Social Irresponsibility," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 89-116, January.
    14. Wilson, John K. & Damania, Richard, 2005. "Corruption, political competition and environmental policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 516-535, May.
    15. de Jong, Eelke & Bogmans, Christian, 2011. "Does corruption discourage international trade?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 385-398, June.
    16. Petrou, Andreas P., 2015. "Arbitrariness of corruption and foreign affiliate performance: A resource dependence perspective," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 826-837.
    17. Traikova, Diana, 2013. "Determinants of non-farm entrepreneurial intentions in a transitional context: Evidence from rural Bulgaria," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 72, number 72.
    18. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2005. "Governance matters IV : governance indicators for 1996-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3630, The World Bank.
    19. Francisco, Manuela & Pontara, Nicola, 2007. "Does corruption impact on firms'ability to conduct business in Mauritania ? evidence from investment climate survey data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4439, The World Bank.
    20. Othmani, Abdelhafidh & Slimani, Slah & Bakari, Sayef, 2015. "Les Effets de la Corruption sur le Commerce Extérieur de la Tunisie : Une Approche du Modèle de Gravité Statique durant la Période 1999-2012," MPRA Paper 80894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Othmani, Abdelhafidh & Slimani, Slah & Bakari, Sayef, 2015. "Les Effets de la Concurrence sur le Commerce Extérieur de la Tunisie : Une Approche du Modèle de Gravité Statique durant la Période 1999-2012
      [The Effects of Competition on Foreign Trade in Tunisia
      ," MPRA Paper 80885, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Governance; corruption; state capture; transition economies;

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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