Anti-Corruption Campaigns and Migrant Attitudes: Evidence from Romania
Conventional wisdom suggests that corruption is bad for the economy. As such, many firms and their employees should welcome anti-corruption campaigns. Yet by definition, such efforts also change the dynamics of power relations – including that of the state and migrants who own or work in local firms. In this paper, I explore whether – and if so, to what extent – anti-corruption campaigns have an effect on migrant attitudes. Specifically, I focus on the Chinese in Romania. Since 26 October, the Romanian administrative fiscal police (ANAF) have raided businesses – including those in Chinatown – daily to identify tax evaders. Using a natural experiment, I am able to highlight how this anti-corruption campaign has negatively changed the attitudes of migrant Chinese toward Romania: the police, the people, and the migrants’ plans to stay long term.