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Tariffs, enforcement, and customs evasion: Evidence from India

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Author Info

  • Mishra, Prachi
  • Subramanian, Arvind
  • Topalova, Petia

Abstract

We examine the effect of tariff policies on evasion of customs duties, in the context of the trade reform in India of the 1990s. By exploiting the variation in tariff rates across time and products, we identify a robust positive elasticity of evasion with respect to tariffs. A second contribution of the paper is to provide some evidence on the impact of enforcement. While we cannot identify the direct impact of enforcement on evasion, we can establish the extent to which enforcement-related factors, such as product characteristics that determine the ease of detection of evasion, affect the evasion elasticity. The results render support to the hypothesis that improvements in enforcement can reduce the responsiveness of evasion to tariffs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10-11 (October)
Pages: 1907-1925

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:10-11:p:1907-1925

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Evasion Tariffs Enforcement;

References

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  1. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  2. Mayshar, Joram, 1991. " Taxation with Costly Administration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 75-88.
  3. Javorcik, Beata S. & Narciso, Gaia, 2007. "Differentiated products and evasion of import tariffs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4123, The World Bank.
  4. Petia Topalova, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity: The Case of India," IMF Working Papers 04/28, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Dean Yang, 2008. "Can Enforcement Backfire? Crime Displacement in the Context of Customs Reform in the Philippines," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 1-14, February.
  6. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
  8. Slemrod, Joel, 1994. "Fixing the leak in Okun's bucket optimal tax progressivity when avoidance can be controlled," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 41-51, September.
  9. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2001. "Redistribution when avoidance behavior is heterogeneous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 51-71, July.
  10. Dean Yang, 2008. "Integrity for Hire: An Analysis of a Widespread Customs Reform," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 25-57, 02.
  11. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2004. "Tax bases, tax rates and the elasticity of reported income," Discussion Papers 0304-15, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  12. Das-Gupta, Arindam & Lahiri, Radhika & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1995. "Income tax compliance in India: An empirical analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(12), pages 2051-2064, December.
  13. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
  14. Joel Slemrod & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2000. "The Optimal Elasticity of Taxable Income," NBER Working Papers 7922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Louis Vézina; Lorenzo Rotunno, 2010. "Chinese networks and tariff evasion," IHEID Working Papers 20-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Nov 2010.
  2. Kazuki Onji, 2009. "A Tale of Pork Prices: Evasion and Attenuation of a Japanese Tariff," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 382, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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