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Outsourcing Tariff Evasion: A New Explanation for Entrepot Trade

  • Raymond Fisman
  • Peter Moustakerski
  • Shang-Jin Wei

Traditional explanations for indirect trade through an entrepot have focused on savings in transport costs and on the role of specialized agents in processing and distribution. We provide an alternative perspective based on the possibility that entrepots may facilitate tariff evasion. Using data on direct exports to mainland China and indirect exports via Hong Kong SAR, we find that the indirect export rate rises with the Chinese tariff rate, even though there is no legal tax advantage to sending goods via Hong Kong SAR. We undertake a number of extensions to rule out plausible alternative hypotheses based on existing explanations for entrepot trade.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12818.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12818.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Publication status: published as 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, 03.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12818
Note: ITI LE POL
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Andriamananjara, Soamiely & Arce, Hugh M. & Ferrantino, Michael J., 2004. "Transshipment in the United States," Working Papers 15871, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
  2. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2004. "Intermediaries in Entrepot Trade: Hong Kong Re-Exports of Chinese Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 3-35, 03.
  3. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
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