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Exports to Smuggle and Smuggling Technologies


  • Bruno Larue
  • Sébastien Pouliot
  • Christos Constantatos


Our analysis is motivated by cases of cigarette smuggling in Canada and in the UK. In the 1990s, domestic cigarettes were legally exported to be subsequently illegally imported. At first, smuggling was done by individual consumers who bought cigarettes abroad and brought them back through policed points of entry. This Mom and Pop smuggling was a mechanism to implement a second-degree price discrimination scheme by cigarette manufacturers. Regrets from committing tax evasion and labels on exported cigarettes packs permit vertical differentiation of illegal and legal cigarettes. Paradoxically, labeling measures can make illegal sales more resilient to tax reductions, and stricter border enforcement encourages a switch to a less benign smuggling technology exclusive to criminal organizations. High export taxes terminated export-to-smuggle schemes, but brought about a surge of counterfeit cigarettes. Because of a second-degree price discrimination scheme, the elimination of taxes need not suffice to eradicate smuggling. Copyright © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Bruno Larue & Sébastien Pouliot & Christos Constantatos, 2009. "Exports to Smuggle and Smuggling Technologies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 476-493, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:17:y:2009:i:3:p:476-493

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Jérôme Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2006. "Taxes, Cigarette Consumption, and Smoking Intensity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
    12. Scott Fausti, 1999. "Production uncertainty, enforcement, and smuggling: a stochastic model," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 279-308.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Bonroy & Christos Constantatos, 2015. "On the Economics of Labels: How Their Introduction Affects the Functioning of Markets and the Welfare of All Participants," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(1), pages 239-259.
    2. repec:gbl:wpaper:2013-01 is not listed on IDEAS

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