Traders, Cops and Robbers
Why does illegal trade often flourish without formal enforcement, but sometimes fail? Why do illegal trade-reducing policies often fail? Why do States often appear to tolerate illegal trade? A model of trade with cops and robbers provides answers. `Safety in numbers' is a key element: the equilibrium probability of successful shipments is increasing in trade volume. Even without conventional fixed costs, safety in numbers implies scale economies which can explain the absence or robustness of trade subject to predation. Spilling over between markets, safety in numbers implies that illegal trade can foster legal trade and State revenue.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Anderson, James E. & Bandiera, Oriana, 2006. "Traders, cops and robbers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 197-215, September.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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