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Chinese networks and tariff evasion

In this paper we combine the tariff evasion analysis of Fisman and Wei (2004) with Rauch and Trindade’s (2002) study of Chinese trade networks. Chinese networks are known to act as trade catalysts by enforcing contracts and providing market information. As tariff evasion occurs outside the law, market information is scant and formal institutions inexistent, rendering networks the more important. We find robust evidence that Chinese networks, proxied by ethnic Chinese migrant populations, increase tariff evasion, i.e. the tariff semi-elasticity of Chinese missing imports. We suggest the effects takes place through matching of illicit-minded traders, identification of corrupt customs agents and enforcement of informal contracts.

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File URL: http://repec.graduateinstitute.ch/pdfs/Working_papers/HEIDWP20-2010.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies in its series IHEID Working Papers with number 20-2010.

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Length: 7733 words
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision: Nov 2010
Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp20-2010
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker, 2008. "Gotcha! A profile of smuggling in international trade," Discussion Papers 2008/6, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  4. Anson Jose & Cadot Olivier & Olarreaga Marcelo, 2006. "Tariff Evasion and Customs Corruption: Does Pre-Shipment Inspection Help?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, December.
  5. Dean Yang, 2004. "Can Enforcement Backfire? Crime Displacement in the Context of Customs Reform in the Philippines," Working Papers 520, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Javorcik, Beata & Narciso, Gaia, 2008. "Differentiated Products and Evasion of Import Tariffs," CEPR Discussion Papers 6804, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Shang-Jin Wei & Jaebin Ahn & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2010. "The Role of Intermediaries in Facilitating Trade," Working Papers id:2557, eSocialSciences.
  8. Raymond Fisman & Peter Moustakerski & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "Outsourcing Tariff Evasion: A New Explanation for Entrep�t Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 587-592, August.
  9. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
  10. Sébastien Jean & Cristina Mitaritonna, 2010. "Determinants and Pervasiveness of the Evasion of Customs Duties," Working Papers 2010-26, CEPII research center.
  11. James A. Dunlevy, 2006. "The Influence of Corruption and Language on the Protrade Effect of Immigrants: Evidence from the American States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 182-186, February.
  12. Levin, Jörgen & Widell, Lars M., 2014. "Tax evasion in Kenya and Tanzania: Evidence from missing imports," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 151-162.
  13. Raymond Fisman & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "The Smuggling of Art, and the Art of Smuggling: Uncovering the Illicit Trade in Cultural Property and Antiques," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 82-96, July.
  14. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 2000. "Hijacking, Hold-Up, and International Trade," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 477, Boston College Department of Economics.
  16. Mishra, Prachi & Subramanian, Arvind & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Tariffs, enforcement, and customs evasion: Evidence from India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1907-1925, October.
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