Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Corruption as Collateral

Ouyang, Min and Zhang, Shengxing (2020): Corruption as Collateral.

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We propose corruption can substitute for conventional collateral in enforcing financial commitments when institutions are poor. A theoretical framework with agency frictions is built, in which corruptive relations with government officials keep firms committed to loan payments. Based on this framework, we hypothesize the anti-corruption investigation destroys the commitment mechanism so that firms default and, most importantly, firms default strategically as long as they can substitute corruption with other collateral. We investigate regional data and firm-level data from China, and find powerful evidence supporting our hypotheses.

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