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Prohibition versus Taxation in Corrupt Environments

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If corruption is rife and tolerated by society, prohibiting the production of a good with negative social costs may be more efficient at limiting quantity than legalizing and taxing producers. It becomes incentive-compatible for a corrupt government to enforce prohibition and credibly limit supply in order to extract bribes from illegal producers. In equilibrium, total quantity is low. In contrast, when the good is legal and taxed, a corrupt government can extract rents only by expropriating the tax revenues. Thus, it prefers a larger market in order to generate more taxes, and quantity is higher.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

This article was made available online on May 19, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Prohibition versus Taxation in Corrupt Environments".

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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