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Risk Management in Border Inspection


  • Hillberry,Russell Henry
  • Karabay,Bilgehan
  • Tan,Shawn Weiming


As part of their commitments under the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade Facilitation, many developing countries are set to adopt risk management, a strategy for selecting import shipments for inspection. This paper formalizes key enforcement issues related to risk management. It argues that the complexities of international trade oversight mean that inspecting agencies lack certainty about the conditional probability that a given shipment will not comply with import regulations. Ambiguity of this sort is likely to be especially important in developing countries that lack the sophisticated information technology used in advanced risk management systems. This paper formalizes a role for ambiguity in a theoretical model of border inspection. It provides evidence suggesting that ambiguity affects inspection rates. Finally, the paper calibrates the model and shock the ambiguity parameters to illustrate the consequences of an information technology-driven improvement in risk management capabilities for equilibrium rates of search and compliance.

Suggested Citation

  • Hillberry,Russell Henry & Karabay,Bilgehan & Tan,Shawn Weiming, 2020. "Risk Management in Border Inspection," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9438, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9438

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