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Integrity for Hire: An Analysis of a Widespread Customs Reform

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  • Dean Yang

Abstract

Can governments improve bureaucratic performance by "hiring integrity" from the private sector? In the past 2 decades, a number of developing countries have hired private firms to conduct preshipment inspections of imports, generating independent data on the value and tariff classification of incoming shipments. I find that countries implementing such inspection programs subsequently experience large increases in import duty collections. By contrast, the growth rate of other tax revenues does not change appreciably. Additional evidence suggests that declines in falsification of import documentation are behind the import duty improvements; the programs also lead to declines in undervaluation and misreporting of goods classifications. Historically, this hired integrity appears to have been cost-effective, with improvements in import duty collections in the first 5 years of a typical inspection program amounting to 2.6 times the program's costs. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 25-57

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:1:p:25-57

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Cited by:
  1. Dequiedt, V. & Geourjon, A.-M. & Rota-Graziosi, G., 2012. "Mutual supervision in preshipment inspection programs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 282-291.
  2. Randall Holcombe & Christopher Boudreaux, 2013. "Institutional quality and the tenure of autocrats," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 409-421, September.
  3. Jenny D. Balboa & Shinji Takenaka, 2010. "Corruption and Development, Revisited," Development Economics Working Papers 23088, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  4. Raballand, Gael & Marteau, Jean-François & Mjekiqi, Edmond & Cantens, Thomas, 2009. "Could a well-designed customs reforms remove the trade-off between revenue collection and trade facilitation?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 28, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  5. Jonathan Goyette, 2012. "Optimal tax threshold: the consequences on efficiency of official vs. effective enforcement," Cahiers de recherche 12-07, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  6. Sequeira, Sandra & Djankov, Simeon, 2010. "An Empirical Study of Corruption in Ports," MPRA Paper 21791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Mishra, Prachi & Subramanian, Arvind & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Tariffs, enforcement, and customs evasion: Evidence from India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1907-1925, October.
  8. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, 07.
  9. Casaburi, Lorenzo & Troiano, Ugo, 2013. "Ghost-House Busters: The Electoral Response to a Large Anti Tax Evasion Program," MPRA Paper 52242, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Velea, Irina & Cadot, Olivier & Wilson, John S., 2010. "Do private inspection programs affect trade facilitation ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5515, The World Bank.

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