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Illegal Trade in Natural Resources: Evidence from missing exports

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  • Pierre-Louis Vezina

Abstract

Countries restrict the export of natural resources to lower domestic prices, stimulate downstream industries, earn rents on international markets, or on environmental grounds. This paper provides empirical evidence of evasion of such export barriers. Using tools from the illicit trade literature, I show that exports of minerals, metals, or wood products are more likely to be missing from the exporter's statistics if they face export barriers such as prohibitions or taxes. Furthermore, I show that this relationship is significantly higher in countries with high levels of corruption and bribes at customs. The results have implications for the design of trade policies and environmental protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Louis Vezina, 2014. "Illegal Trade in Natural Resources: Evidence from missing exports," OxCarre Working Papers 139, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:139
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    File URL: http://www.oxcarre.ox.ac.uk/files/OxCarreRP2014139.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jane Korinek & Jeonghoi Kim, 2010. "Export Restrictions on Strategic Raw Materials and Their Impact on Trade," OECD Trade Policy Papers 95, OECD Publishing.
    2. Javorcik, Beata S. & Narciso, Gaia, 2008. "Differentiated products and evasion of import tariffs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 208-222, December.
    3. K.C. Fung & Jane Korinek, 2013. "Economics of Export Restrictions as Applied to Industrial Raw Materials," OECD Trade Policy Papers 155, OECD Publishing.
    4. 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.
    5. Pushan Dutt & Daniel Traca, 2010. "Corruption and Bilateral Trade Flows: Extortion or Evasion?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 843-860, November.
    6. Rotunno, Lorenzo & Vézina, Pierre-Louis & Wang, Zheng, 2013. "The rise and fall of (Chinese) African apparel exports," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 152-163.
    7. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning, 2003. "Regulating Illicit Trade in Natural Resources: The Role of Regional Actors in West Africa," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(95), pages 99-107, March.
    8. Bleischwitz, Raimund & Dittrich, Monika & Pierdicca, Chiara, 2012. "Coltan from Central Africa, international trade and implications for any certification," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 19-29.
    9. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2008. "Gotcha! A Profile of Smuggling in International Trade," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_026, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    10. Dean, Judith M & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 1997. "Export Bans, Environmental Protection, and Unemployment," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 324-336, October.
    11. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Packey, Daniel J. & Kingsnorth, Dudley, 2016. "The impact of unregulated ionic clay rare earth mining in China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 112-116.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    natural resources; illegal trade; trade barriers;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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