The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In a general equilibrium in which bribe-extracting bureaucrats can endogenously choose regulatory burden and delay, the effective (not just nominal) red tape and bribery can be positively correlated across firms. Using data from three worldwide firm surveys, this paper finds evidence consistent with this hypothesis. Firms that pay more in bribes are also likely to spend more, not less, management time with bureaucrats in negotiating regulations. They also face a higher, not lower, cost of capital.