UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Corruption and Firm Growth: Evidence from around the World

20 June 2022, 3:30 pm–4:30 pm

Event poster for the conference in Memory of  Prof Oleh Havrylyshyn with a photo of Oleh

A keynote by Prof Sergei Guriev as part of the Conference in Memory of Prof Oleh Havrylyshyn: Economic History, Comparative Economics and Policy-making in Transition

This event is free.

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We empirically investigate the relationship between corruption and growth using a firm-level data set that is unique in scale, covering almost 88,000 firms across 141 economies in 2006-2020, with wide-ranging corruption experiences. The scale and detail of our data allow us to explore the corruption-growth relationship at a very local level, within industries in a relatively narrow geography. We report three empirical regularities. First, firms that make zero informal payments tend to grow slower than bribers. Second, this result is driven by non-bribers in high-corruption countries. Third, among bribers growth is decreasing in the amount of informal payments -- in both high- and low-corruption countries. We suggest that this set of results may be reconciled with a simple model in which endogenously determined higher bribe rates lead to lower growth, while non-bribers are often excluded entirely from growth opportunities in high-corruption settings.

Keywords: corruption, firm growth, enterprise surveys

JEL Classification: D22, O12

Paper available here


About the Speaker

Prof Sergei Guriev

Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at Sciences Po, Paris

Sergei Guriev joined Sciences Po as a tenured professor of economics in 2013 after running the New Economic School in Moscow (2004-13). In

2016-19, he was on leave from Sciences Po serving as the Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

His research interests include political economics, development economics, labour mobility, and contract theory. He has published in international refereed journals including American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of European Economic Association, Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Literature, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Policy and American Political Science Review. In 2006, he was selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2009-11, he was included in the top 100 of the President of Russia’s Cadre Reserve. In 2016-17 he has served as the President of the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics. Since 2017, he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association. He is also a Research Fellow and the Leader of the Research and Policy Network on Populism at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London. He is a Global Member of the Trilateral Commission and an Ordinary Member of the Academia Europaea.