We empirically analyze the illicit trade in cultural property and
antiques, taking advantage of different reporting incentives between
source and destination countries. We generate a measure of illicit
trafficking in these goods by comparing imports recorded in United
States' customs data and the (purportedly identical) trade recorded
by customs authorities in exporting countries. This reporting gap
is highly correlated with corruption levels of exporting countries.
This correlation is stronger for artifact-rich countries. As a placebo
test, we do not observe any such pattern for US imports of toys. We
report similar results for four other Western country markets. (JEL
F14, K42, Z11, Z13)
Fisman, Raymond, and Shang-Jin Wei.
"The Smuggling of Art, and the Art of Smuggling: Uncovering the Illicit Trade in Cultural Property and Antiques."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Country and Industry Studies of Trade
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Cultural Economics: Economics of the Arts and Literature
Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology