Corruption in Customs: Evidence from Madagascar


Published 30.11.22
Photo credit:
Maurits Vermeulen

The nonrandom assignment of import declarations to inspectors is associated with corruption and lost tax revenues, but interventions to combat this must be carefully monitored

Read “Corruption in Customs” by Cyril Chalendard, Ana M. Fernandes, Gael Raballand & Bob Rijkers here.

48% of Madagascar's tax revenues are collected at the border, yet corruption appears rife in customs. In this VoxDevTalk, we are joined by Ana M Fernandes and Bob Rijkers, who are part of a team that developed a new methodology to detect and cut-out corruption. By identifying pairings of inspectors with brokers that occur more frequently than expected, they are able to gain insights into how corruption works in Madagascar's largest port and discuss the results of an intervention aimed at reducing this. These results serve as a reminder that technology is not a panacea in the fight against corruption, as IT solutions can be captured by bureaucrats and economics operations.