Relational corruption in the PR China. Institutional foundations and its (Dys)-functionality for economic development and growth

  • Markus TaubeEmail author


The Chinese economy has undergone three decades of rapid economic growth, while at the same time experiencing a dramatic increase in the incidence and intensity of corruption. It is argued that these developments have been closely related and follow a fundamental logic of institutional arbitrage thriving in the context of a hybrid economy located somewhere between plan and market. Analysing various manifestations of corruption, it is shown that under certain background conditions corruption can be instrumental to economic development and drive a market-oriented transformation process. However, with the formal institutional framework crossing a threshold line of market coordination capacity, the potential of corruption to bridge institutional deficiencies in the formal system erodes and corrupt activities become increasingly ‘dys-functional’, impeding economic development and growth. In the course of the discussion Chinese guanxi networks are shown to provide a highly effective ordering mechanism for corrupt transactions, thereby facilitating the proliferation of corruption in China.


Corruption Guanxi networks Economic transformation 

Relationale Korruption in der VR China. Institutionelle Grundlagen und ihre (Dys)Funktionalität für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und Wachstum


In den vergangenen drei Jahrzehnten hat die chinesische Wirtschaft ein rapides Wirtschaftswachstum erlebt, während gleichzeitig eine dramatische Zunahme in der Häufigkeit und der Intensität von Korruption zu verzeichnen ist. Der vorliegende Artikel argumentiert, dass diese Entwicklungen in einem engen Zusammenhang stehen und einer grundsätzlichen Logik institutioneller Arbitrage im Kontext einer hybriden Ökonomie zwischen Plan- und Marktwirtschaft folgen. Anhand der Untersuchung unterschiedlicher Erscheinungsformen von Korruption wird gezeigt, dass Korruption unter bestimmten Bedingungen hilfreich für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung sein kann und einen marktwirtschaftlich orientierten Transformationsprozess fördern kann. Überschreiten jedoch die formalen institutionellen Rahmenbedingungen einen Schwellenwert bezüglich der Koordinationsfähigkeiten des Marktes, so geht die Fähigkeit durch Korruption institutionelle Schwächen zu überbrücken verloren und Korruption wird zunehmenden „dys-funktional“ und damit hinderlich für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und Wachstum. Wie der Artikel zeigt, stellt insbesondere das chinesische System der Guanxi-Netzwerke ein sehr effektives Ordnungsprinzip für Korruptionstransaktionen dar und trägt maßgeblich zur Verbreitung von Korruption in China bei.


Korruption Guanxi-Netzwerke Transformationsökonomien 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mercator School of Management, University of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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