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smuggling, illegal exports, taxes, illegal trade, joint product mobel


Extending the seminal work of Bhagwati and Hansen (1973) on smuggling, Pitt (1981) developed a joint export smuggling model to investigate the welfare effect of illegal transactions. This paper develops an extension of Pitt's original model which allows many of the interesting features of the Bhagwati and Hansen model to be reexamined within a joint product model of smuggling framework. The extension is made through the following modifications to Pitt's assumptions: 1) firms that export are free to engage in joint product smuggling or strictly legal trade; and 2) uncertainty is introduced into the model via active government enforcement. The modifications enable the model to reexamine the ambiguous welfare results derived in the papers by Pitt, and Bhagwati and Hansen. The model explains why the ambiguous welfare results were derived and demonstrates that the welfare effect of smuggling can indeed be positive, even if smuggling incurs a real resource cost.


Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

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