Foreign investment and bribery: A firm-level analysis of corruption in Vietnam

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2012-04

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Abstract

Among the concerns faced by countries pondering the costs and benefits of greater economic openness to international capital flows is the worry that new and powerful external actors will exert a corrupting influence on the domestic economy. In this paper, we use a novel empirical strategy, drawn from research in experimental psychology, to test the linkage between foreign direct investment (FDI) and corruption. The prevailing literature has produced confused and contradictory results on this vital relationship due to errors in their measurement of corruption which are correlated with FDI inflows. When a less biased operationalization is employed, we find clear evidence of corruption during both registration and procurement procedures in Vietnam. The prevalence of corruption, however, is not associated with inflows of FDI. On the contrary, one measure of economic openness appears to be the most important driver of reductions in Vietnamese corruption: the wave of domestic legislation, which accompanied the country's bilateral trade liberalization agreement with the United States (US-BTA), significantly reduced bribery during business registration. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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10.1016/j.asieco.2011.11.006

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Georguiev, D, and EJ Malesky (2012). Foreign investment and bribery: A firm-level analysis of corruption in Vietnam. Journal of Asian Economics, 23(2). pp. 111–129. 10.1016/j.asieco.2011.11.006 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17760.

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Malesky

Edmund Malesky

Professor of Political Science

Malesky is a specialist on Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. Currently, Malesky's research agenda is very much at the intersection of Comparative and International Political Economy, falling into three major categories: 1) Authoritarian political institutions and their consequences; 2) The political influence of foreign direct investment and multinational corporations; and 3) Political institutions, private business development, and formalization.


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