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Home | Events Archive | The Real Costs of Washing Away Corruption: Evidence from Brazil’s Lava Jato Investigation
Seminar

The Real Costs of Washing Away Corruption: Evidence from Brazil’s Lava Jato Investigation


  • Series
    Erasmus Finance Seminars
  • Speakers
    Lars Norden (Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration and Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil)
  • Field
    Finance, Finance
  • Location
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, Campus Woudestein, T03-35
    Rotterdam
  • Date and time

    April 23, 2024
    11:45 - 13:00

Abstract
Anti-corruption investigations aim at promoting allocative efficiency and growth, but, if too disruptive, they can generate adverse economic consequences. We examine the costs of one of the world’s largest anti-corruption crackdowns, Operação Lava Jato in Brazil, using unique bank-firm-worker data. We find investigated firms cut employment and wages and lose access to bank credit. Importantly, more exposed banks reduce credit also to non-investigated firms, and even more so for politically connected existing borrowers. We further document negative total real and financial effects for non-investigated firms more exposed through their banks. Policy makers should consider these costs when devising anti-corruption investigations.