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 homogenous 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 homogenous products and a 1.7% increase in the case of differentiated products. Finally, the data indicate that while underreporting of quantities takes place for all products, only differentiated products are subject to misrepresentation of the import prices. There is no evidence of tariff evasion taking place through product misclassification.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Panagariya, Arvind & Rodrik, Dani, 1993.
"Political-Economy Arguments for a Uniform Tariff,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 685-703, August.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
601, Boston College Department of Economics.
- 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," Working Papers 200423, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- 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.
- Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2008. "Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms," Working Papers 08-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- 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.
- Rauch, James E., 1999.
"Networks versus markets in international trade,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pritchett, Lant & Sethi, Geeta, 1993. "Tariff rates, tariff revenue, and tariff reform : some new facts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1143, The World Bank.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6804. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.