• Corruption and firm performance: Evidence from Greek firms.

      Athanasouli, Daphne; Goujard, Antoine; Sklias, Pantelis; University of Peloponnese (Kavala Institute of Technology, 2012)
      This article investigates the relationship between corruption and firm performance in Greece using firm level data. Corruption is overall negatively associated with firm size and growth at the firm level. We focus on the effect of ‘administrative corruption’, whereby firms engage in corrupt practices and bribery of government officials. We contrast the firm experience of corruption and the contextual experience of corruption at the sectoral level and find that the latter, contextual corruption is more important. The contextual effect of corruption identifies the magnitude of systemic corruption in Greece, indicating the need for reforms in an institutional environment that allows corrupt practices. Furthermore, firms of different size appear differently affected by corruption. This suggests that firm engagement in corruption is heterogeneous. Using quantile regressions, small and medium firms display a higher engagement in corrupt practices. However, their performance is less correlated with corruption than that of large firms.
    • Corruption and management practices: Firm level evidence.

      Athanasouli, Daphne; Goujard, Antoine; University College London (Elsevier, 2015-05-04)
      We argue that corruption can decrease aggregate productivity by deteriorating firm management practices. We investigate the impact of regional corruption on the management quality of firms within the manufacturing sector in Central and Eastern Europe. The empirical challenge is that bureaucrats’ bribing practices may evolve in response to firm behaviors, and that regional corruption is measured with error. To identify causal effects, our preferred specifications use a difference-in-differences methodology. We measure the manufacturing industries’ exposure to corruption using their level of dependence to contract institutions. Controlling for regional and manufacturing industry – country fixed effects, we find that firms in more contract dependent industries, located in more corrupt regions, tend to have lower management quality, a more centralized decision-making process, and a lower level of education among administrative staff. In more corrupt regions, contract dependent firms are also characterized by lower investment in R&D, and smaller product markets. We show that our findings are not likely to be driven by omitted variables, outliers, or reverse causality.