Review of World Economics

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 751–775 | Cite as

Can bribes buy protection against international competition?

  • Christian BjørnskovEmail author
Original Paper


This paper explores the association between corruption and trade policy. A non-technical theoretical framework first outlines the effects of corruption on non-tariff barriers at the political and bureaucratic level. Both parts have incentives to accept bribes in exchange for increasing barriers. These considerations include politicians’ re-election motives, implying that free information may weaken the association between corruption and trade barriers. I employ panel data on corruption and non-tariff barriers in three periods 1995–2005. The results show that corruption tends to lead to higher non-tariff barriers. The effectiveness of corruption in buying barriers varies with the degree of press freedom and GDP per capita.


Trade policy Rent-seeking Corruption Press freedom 

JEL classification

F13 H25 

Supplementary material

10290_2012_128_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© Kiel Institute 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessAarhus UniversityÅbyhøjDenmark

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