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An Empirical Study of Corruption in Ports

Author

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  • Sequeira, Sandra
  • Djankov, Simeon

Abstract

We generate an original dataset on bribe payments at two competing ports in Southern Africa that allows us to take an unusually close look at the relationship between bureaucratic organization, bribe-setting behavior and the costs corruption imposes on users of public services. We find that the way bureaucracies are organized can generate different opportunities for bureaucrats to engage in "collusive" or "coercive" types of corruption. We then observe how firms adjust their shipping and sourcing strategies in response to different types of corruption. "Collusive" corruption is cost-reducing for firms, increasing usage of the corrupt port, while "coercive" corruption is cost-increasing, reducing demand for port services. Our findings therefore suggest that firms respond to the opportunities and challenges created by different types of corruption, organizing production in a way that increases or decreases demand for the public service.

Suggested Citation

  • Sequeira, Sandra & Djankov, Simeon, 2010. "An Empirical Study of Corruption in Ports," MPRA Paper 21791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21791
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/21791/1/MPRA_paper_21791.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
    3. Simeon Djankov & Caroline Freund & Cong S. Pham, 2010. "Trading on Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 166-173, February.
    4. 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, June.
    5. Amjadi, Azita & Yeats, Alexander J., 1995. "Have transport costs contributed to the relative decline of sub-Saharan African exports? Some preliminary empirical evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1559, The World Bank.
    6. Dean Yang, 2008. "Integrity for Hire: An Analysis of a Widespread Customs Reform," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 25-57, February.
    7. Besley, Timothy & McLaren, John, 1993. "Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 119-141, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; Transport; Trade Costs; Firm Behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

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