IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

One Kind of Lawlessness: Estimating the Welfare Cost of Somali Piracy

  • Tim Besley
  • Thiemo Fetzer
  • Hannes Mueller

This paper estimates the effect of piracy attacks on shipping costs using a unique data set on shipping contracts in the dry bulk market. We look at shipping routes whose shortest path exposes them to piracy attacks and find that the increase in attacks in 2008 lead to around a ten percent increase in shipping costs. We use this estimate to get a sense of the welfare loss imposed by piracy. Our intermediate estimate suggests that the creation of $120 million of revenue for pirates in the Somalia area led to a welfare loss of over $1.5 billion.

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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 626.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2015
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:626
Contact details of provider: Postal: Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27, 08005 Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 542-1222
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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.:

as in new window
  1. Tony Venables & Alberto Behar, 2010. "Transport Costs and International Trade," Economics Series Working Papers 488, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, 07.
  3. Attila Ambrus & Eric Chaney & Igor Salitskiy, 2011. "Pirates of the Mediterranean: An Empirical Investigation of Bargaining with Transaction Costs," Working Papers 11-24, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  4. Hamilton, James D., 1990. "Analysis of time series subject to changes in regime," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 39-70.
  5. Anja Shortland, 2011. ""Robin Hook": The Developmental Effects of Somali Piracy," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1155, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Sami Bensassi, 2011. "The price of modern maritime piracy," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 213, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
  8. Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1049-1094, December.
  9. James Feyrer, 2011. "Distance, Trade, and Income -- The 1967 to 1975 Closing of the Suez Canal as a Natural Experiment," 2011 Meeting Papers 1438, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Benjamin A. Olken & Patrick Barron, 2007. "The Simple Economics of Extortion: Evidence from Trucking in Aceh," NBER Working Papers 13145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. de Meza, David & Gould, J R, 1992. "The Social Efficiency of Private Decisions to Enforce Property Rights," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 561-80, June.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Attila Ambrus & Eric Chaney & Igor Salitskiy, 2011. "Appendix for Pirates of the Mediterranean: An Empirical Investigation of Bargaining with Transaction Costs," Working Papers 11-25, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  14. Dave Donaldson, 2010. "Railroads of the Raj: Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 16487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), 2010. "Handbook of Development Economics," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 5, number 6, January.
  16. Douglass C. North, 1968. "Sources of Productivity Change in Ocean Shipping, 1600-1850," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 953.
  17. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:626. 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: (Bruno Guallar)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.