The European Journal of Comparative Economics

ISSN: 1824-2979

EJCE Year: 2018, June. Volume: 15 - Issue: 1

Is corruption efficiency-enhancing? A case study of the Central and Eastern European region

by Claire Giordano, Paloma Lopez-Garcia

Start page: 119 - End page: 164

Keywords: Bribes, allocative efficiency, capital, labour

Jel code: D24; D73; O47

DOI: 10.25428/1824-2979/201801-119-164


We investigate the role of firm-level bribes in explaining the efficiency of within-sector production factor allocation across firms in nine Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in 2003-2012. We find a positive association between corruption and both labour and capital misallocation dynamics, once country framework conditions are controlled for. The link is larger the smaller the country, the lower the degree of political stability and of civil liberties, and the weaker regulatory quality. Results hold when instrumenting corruption with female representation in Parliament and the freedom of the press. Targeted action against corruption in the CEE region would thus enhance within-sector allocative efficiency, in turn a determinant of sectorial, and aggregate, TFP growth.

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