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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. Hummels, David, 2001. "Time as a Trade Barrier," GTAP Working Papers 1152, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  2. Djankov, Simeon & Freund, Caroline & Pham, Cong S., 2006. "Trading on time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3909, The World Bank.
  3. Barron, Patrick & Olken, Benjamin, 2007. "The Simple Economics of Extortion: Evidence from Trucking in Aceh," CEPR Discussion Papers 6332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Sequeira, Sandra & Djankov, Simeon, 2010. "An Empirical Study of Corruption in Ports," MPRA Paper 21791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  6. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
  7. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  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, 2001. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from "Missing Imports" in China," NBER Working Papers 8551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 11753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Kaufmann, Daniel & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1999. "Does 'Grease Money' Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," MPRA Paper 8209, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Carolyn Evans & James Harrigan, 2003. "Distance, time, and specialization," International Finance Discussion Papers 766, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. 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.
  20. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2006. "Cultures of Corruption: Evidence From Diplomatic Parking Tickets," NBER Working Papers 12312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
  22. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  23. 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.
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