Experts’ perceptions versus firms’ experiences of corruption and foreign direct investment*


This paper documents that standard measures of corruption based on the perceptions of experts and opinion surveys and measures based on the experiences of firms can in some cases lead to quite different conclusions as to how much of a problem corruption is in a country. We then show that while perceptions of corruption are significantly associated with the amount of foreign direct investment that a country attracts, the experience on the ground is not. We find some evidence that greenfield investment is significantly associated with the experience of corruption while mergers and acquisitions is driven by perceptions

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