Research Summary: Social status and its dynamics may be an important predictor of which firms will engage in large‐scale bribery. Prior theory is incomplete, however, and prior studies have lacked comprehensive and reliable data on firm‐level bribery decisions. We offer a new theoretical prediction and a novel data set on high‐level corruption in South Korea, where the accounting records of two presidents in the 1987–1992 era were exposed to after‐the‐fact legal and public scrutiny. We find that, controlling for a range of alternative explanations, the threat of falling high status—that is, the combination of longstanding high social status with current‐period mediocre economic performance relative to that of industry peers—is a statistically and economically meaningful predictor of increases in the amount of large‐scale corporate bribery.
Strategic Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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