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Speed Money: Time, Corruption, and Trade

  • Shepherd, Ben

This paper shows that longer trade times are associated with higher levels of trade-related corruption, consistent with a theoretical framework in which “fast” producers earn higher profits than “slow” ones, but may have to pay “speed money” to possibly corrupt customs officials. This finding is robust to the use of corruption measures based on perceptions and reported behavior, the inclusion of a wide range of control variables from the previous literature, and estimation by a variety of methods including instrumental variables. Moreover, results from a gravity model show that the combination of slow border procedures and rampant corruption acts as a significant drag on international trade, in line with the model's predictions: the elasticity of bilateral trade with respect to trade time is around 5% stronger in a country with rampant corruption compared with a corruption free country. Together, these results suggest that improved trade facilitation can be an effective and feasible policy for reducing corruption over the short-term in weak institutional environments.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17337/1/MPRA_paper_17337.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17337.

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Date of creation: 16 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17337
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  1. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 1999. "Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 418, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 03 Aug 2000.
  2. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  3. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  5. David Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2012. "Time as a Trade Barrier," NBER Working Papers 17758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kaufman, Daniel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does"grease money"speed up the wheels of commerce?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2254, The World Bank.
  7. Carolyn L. Evans & James Harrigan, 2003. "Distance, Time, and Specialization," NBER Working Papers 9729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Benjamin A. Olken & Patrick Barron, 2009. "The Simple Economics of Extortion: Evidence from Trucking in Aceh," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 417-452, 06.
  11. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  12. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2006. "Cultures of Corruption: Evidence From Diplomatic Parking Tickets," NBER Working Papers 12312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Nauro F. Campos & Francesco Giovannoni, 2006. "Lobbying, Corruption and Political Influence," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-14, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  15. Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Seminar Papers 713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  16. Lui, Francis T, 1985. "An Equilibrium Queuing Model of Bribery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 760-81, August.
  17. Djankov, Simeon & Freund, Caroline & Pham, Cong S., 2006. "Trading on time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3909, The World Bank.
  18. Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 11753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
  20. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  21. Pushan Dutt, 2009. "Trade protection and bureaucratic corruption: an empirical investigation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, February.
  22. 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.
  23. Sequeira, Sandra & Djankov, Simeon, 2010. "An Empirical Study of Corruption in Ports," MPRA Paper 21791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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