Differentiated products and evasion of import tariffs
An emerging literature has demonstrated some unique characteristics of trade in differentiated products. This paper contributes to the literature by postulating that differentiated products may be subject to greater tariff evasion due to the difficulties associated with assessing their quality and price. Using product-level data on trade between Germany and 10 Eastern European countries during 1992-2003, we find empirical support for this hypothesis. We show that the trade gap, defined as the discrepancy between the value of exports reported by Germany and the value of imports from Germany reported by the importing country, is positively related to the level of tariff in 8 out of 10 countries. Further, we show that the responsiveness of the trade gap to the tariff level is greater for differentiated products than for homogeneous goods. A one-percentage-point increase in the tariff rate is associated with a 0.4% increase in the trade gap in the case of homogeneous products and a 1.7% increase in the case of differentiated products. Finally, the data indicate that tariff evasion takes place through misrepresentation of the import prices rather than underreporting of quantities or product misclassification.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2008.
"Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms,"
08-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 12493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arvind Panagariya & Dani Rodrik, 1991.
"Political-Economy Arguments for a Uniform Tariff,"
NBER Working Papers
3661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raymond Fisman & Shang-Jin Wei, 2001.
"Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from "Missing Imports" in China,"
NBER Working Papers
8551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raymond Fisman & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from "Missing Imports" in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 471-500, April.
- 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.
- James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2004.
"Welfare versus market access : the implications of tariff structure for tariff reform,"
200423, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Anderson, James E. & Neary, J. Peter, 2007. "Welfare versus market access: The implications of tariff structure for tariff reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 187-205, March.
- James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2004. "Welfare versus Market Access: The Implications of Tariff Structure for Tariff Reform," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 601, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Rauch, James E., 1999.
"Networks versus markets in international trade,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
- 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
- Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2005.
"Assessing the impact of communication costs on international trade,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 428-445, December.
- Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2002. "Assessing the impact of communication costs on international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2929, The World Bank.
- James E. Rauch & Alessandra Casella, 2003.
"Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Ties,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 21-42, January.
- Rauch, J E & Casella, Alessandra, 2001. "Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Ties," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2k8626fr, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
- James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002.
"Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
- Pritchett, Lant & Sethi, Geeta, 1993.
"Tariff rates, tariff revenue, and tariff reform : some new facts,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1143, The World Bank.
- Pritchett, Lant & Sethi, Geeta, 1994. "Tariff Rates, Tariff Revenue, and Tariff Reform: Some New Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-16, January.
- Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2006. "Product differentiation and duration of US import trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-358, December.
- Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1993.
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 599-617.
- Carolyn L. Evans, 2003. "The Economic Significance of National Border Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1291-1312, September.
- Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
- Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:76:y:2008:i:2:p:208-222. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.