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Integrity for Hire: An Analysis of a Widespread Program for Combating Customs Corruption

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Author Info

  • Dean Yang

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Can governments successfully combat bureaucratic corruption by “hiring integrity” from the private sector? This paper examines the impact of hiring private firms to collect information for government anti-corruption efforts. In the past two decades, a number of developing countries have hired private firms to conduct preshipment inspections of imports, generating data that governments can use to fight corruption in customs agencies. I find that countries implementing such inspection programs subsequently experience large increases in the growth rate of import duties, by 6 to 8 percentage points annually. By contrast, the growth rate of other tax revenues does not change appreciably. Additional evidence suggests that declines in customs corruption are behind the import duty improvements: the programs also lead to increases in imports (potentially reflecting lower bribe payments) and to declines in mis-reporting of goods classifications. Historically, this hired integrity appears to have been cost-effective: accumulated improvements in import duty collections in the fifth year of a typical inspection program were roughly 5 times accumulated costs.

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File URL: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers501-525/r525.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 525.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:525

Contact details of provider:
Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/
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Related research

Keywords: corruption; crime; bribery; enforcement; tax evasion; customs;

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References

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  1. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Bertil Tungodden, 2001. "Fiscal corruption: A vice or a virtue?," CMI Working Papers WP 2001:13, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  2. Chand, Sheetal K. & Moene, Karl O., 1999. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1129-1140, July.
  3. Polinsky, A. Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 2001. "Corruption and optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-24, July.
  4. 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.
  5. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-59, January.
  6. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  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. 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.
  9. Glenn Jenkins, 1992. "Economic Reform And Institutional Innovation," Development Discussion Papers 1992-04, JDI Executive Programs.
  10. De Wulf, Luc, 1981. "Statistical analysis of under- and overinvoicing of imports," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 303-323, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "The power of information : evidence from a newspaper campaign to reduce capture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3239, The World Bank.
  13. Cadot, Olivier, 1987. "Corruption as a gamble," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-244, July.
  14. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  15. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  16. Fisman, Raymond & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from 'Missing Imports' in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 3089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Klepper, Steven & Nagin, Daniel, 1989. "The Anatomy of Tax Evasion," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, Spring.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hunt, Jennifer, 2007. "Bribery in Health Care in Peru and Uganda," CEPR Discussion Papers 6274, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI & Anne-Marie GEOURJON & Vianney DEQUIEDT, 2009. "Contrats Incitatifs et Réforme des Douanes dans les PED : une Application des Modèles d’Agence Hiérarchique," Working Papers 200906, CERDI.
  3. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  5. Kaufmann, Daniel & Bellver, Ana, 2005. "Transparenting Transparency: Intial Empirics and Policy Applications," MPRA Paper 8188, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Brian Levy, 2007. "Governance Reform : Bridging Monitoring and Action," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6742, October.

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