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Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets

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  • Raymond Fisman
  • Edward Miguel

Abstract

We study cultural norms and legal enforcement in controlling corruption by analyzing the parking behavior of United Nations officials in Manhattan. Until 2002, diplomatic immunity protected UN diplomats from parking enforcement actions, so diplomats' actions were constrained by cultural norms alone. We find a strong effect of corruption norms: diplomats from high-corruption countries (on the basis of existing survey-based indices) accumulated significantly more unpaid parking violations. In 2002, enforcement authorities acquired the right to confiscate diplomatic license plates of violators. Unpaid violations dropped sharply in response. Cultural norms and (particularly in this context) legal enforcement are both important determinants of corruption. (c) 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 115 (2007)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1020-1048

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:115:y:2007:i:6:p:1020-1048

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  1. Soledad Zignago & Thierry Mayer, 2005. "Market Access in Global and Regional Trade," Sciences Po publications 2005-02, Sciences Po.
  2. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Working Papers 05-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Benjamin Olken, 2006. "Corruption perceptions vs. corruption reality," Natural Field Experiments 00318, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Di Tella, Rafael & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2003. "The Role of Wages and Auditing during a Crackdown on Corruption in the City of Buenos Aires," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 269-92, April.
  5. George J. Borjas, 2000. "Introduction to "Issues in the Economics of Immigration"," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2006. "Cultures of Corruption: Evidence From Diplomatic Parking Tickets," NBER Working Papers 12312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2004. "Local Capture: Evidence From a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 678-704, May.
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