Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Firm Registration and Bribes: Results from a Microenterprise Survey in Africa

Clarke, George R.G. (2011): Firm Registration and Bribes: Results from a Microenterprise Survey in Africa.

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Abstract

If corrupt bureaucrats target registered firms, then corruption may discourage registration. Using data from a survey of 4,801 microenterprises in Zambia, this paper looks at whether corruption is a more or less serious problem for registered firms. The paper finds results consistent with the cross-country evidence—registered firms appear to be more concerned about corruption than unregistered firms. This suggests that remaining informal and out-of-sight might reduce the burden of corruption. The paper also looks at two possible reasons why registered firms might be more concerned about corruption. It finds that there is little evidence that government officials specifically target registered firms. Registered firms were more likely to be involved in transactions with government or parastatal officials that could involve bribes—possibly explaining why they are more concerned about corruption than other firms are—but they were no more likely to pay bribes during these transactions.

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