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Although the theoretical literature often uses lobbying and corruption synonymously, the empirical literature associates lobbying with the preferred mean for exerting influence in developed countries and corruption with the preferred one in developing countries. This paper challenges these views. Based on whether influence is sought with rule-makers or rule-enforcers, the authors develop a conceptual framework that highlights how political institutions are instrumental in defining the choice between bribing and lobbying. They test their predictions using survey data for about 6000 firms in 26 countries.
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