Sunshine or Curse? Foreign Direct Investment, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and Individual Corruption Experiences in Africa
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Brazys, Samuel and Andreas Kotsadam
It remains unclear if foreign direct investment (FDI) benefits local citizens in host countries. Combining geo-referenced FDI data and household level surveys, this paper uses spatial-temporal techniques to assess how FDI impacts individual corruption experiences. We investigate if this relationship is conditional on the corruption levels, or engagement with the OECD's anti-bribery convention (ABC), of the FDI's source country. We find evidence that FDI flows reduce individual bribery experiences, but only when existing levels of corruption are high. We find it is FDI from comparatively more corrupt, and non-ABC engaging, countries that locates to areas of high corruption. Further, FDI appears to improve both the employment prospects and financial positions of local households. Collectively, we argue that these results suggest that individual empowerment via a wealth effect, rather than spillovers from firm professionalization or regulatory pressure mechanisms, is what stems individual corruption experiences.