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The Smuggling of Art, and the Art of Smuggling: Uncovering the Illicit Trade in Cultural Property and Antiques

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  • Raymond Fisman
  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

We empirically analyze the illicit trade in cultural property and antiques, taking advantage of different reporting incentives between source and destination countries. We generate a measure of illicit trafficking in these goods by comparing imports recorded in United States' customs data and the (purportedly identical) trade recorded by customs authorities in exporting countries. This reporting gap is highly correlated with corruption levels of exporting countries. This correlation is stronger for artifact-rich countries. As a placebo test, we do not observe any such pattern for US imports of toys. We report similar results for four other Western country markets. (JEL F14, K42, Z11, Z13)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 82-96

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:3:p:82-96

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.3.82
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References

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  1. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1020-1048, December.
  2. de Sousa, José & Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2012. "Market access in global and regional trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1037-1052.
  3. Dean Yang, 2004. "Can Enforcement Backfire? Crime Displacement in the Context of Customs Reform in the Philippines," Working Papers 520, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  4. Prachi Mishra & Arvind Subramanian & Petia Topalova, 2007. "Policies, Enforcement, and Customs Evasion," IMF Working Papers 07/60, International Monetary Fund.
  5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/10187 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. de Groot, Olaf J. & Rablen, Matthew D. & Shortland, Anja, 2011. "Gov-Aargh-Nance – “Even Criminals Need Law And Order”," NEPS Working Papers 7/2011, Network of European Peace Scientists.
  2. Ferrier, Peyton Michael, 2009. "The Economics of Agricultural and Wildlife Smuggling," Economic Research Report 55951, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2008. "Illegal Trade in the Iranian Economy: Evidence from a Structural Model," Working Papers 409, Economic Research Forum, revised Jun 2008.
  4. Luca De Benedictis & Silvia Nenci & Gianluca Santoni & Lucia Tajoli & Claudio Vicarelli, 2013. "Network Analysis of World Trade using the BACI-CEPII dataset," Working Papers 2013-24, CEPII research center.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "Introduction to "China's Growing Role in World Trade"," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 1-31 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Olaf J. de Groot & Anja Shortland, 2010. "Gov-arrrgh-nance: Jolly Rogers and Dodgy Rulers," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1063, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2008. "Gotcha! A Profile of Smuggling in International Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 2475, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Lorenzo Rotunno & Pierre-Louis Vézina, 2012. "Chinese Networks and Tariff Evasion," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(12), pages 1772-1794, December.
  9. Ferrantino, Michael J. & Liu, Xuepeng & Wang, Zhi, 2012. "Evasion behaviors of exporters and importers: Evidence from the U.S.–China trade data discrepancy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 141-157.
  10. Jiro Honda, 2008. "Do IMF Programs Improve Economic Governance?," IMF Working Papers 08/114, International Monetary Fund.
  11. repec:nbr:nberwo:14716 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Pierre-Louis Vezina, 2014. "Illegal Trade in Natural Resources: Evidence from missing exports," OxCarre Working Papers 139, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  13. Shortland Anja & Percy Sarah, 2013. "Governance, Naval Intervention and Piracy in Somalia," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 275-283, August.
  14. Anja Shortland & Sarah Percy, 2012. "Counter-Piracy in Somalia: Help or Hindrance?," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 12-03, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.

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