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Christian Volpe Martincus, Jeronimo Carballo and Alejandro Graziano

Journal of International Economics, 2015, vol. 96, issue 1, 119-137

Abstract: All international trade transactions are processed by custom agencies and such processing takes time. Despite the fact that time is a key trade barrier, the time it takes for shipments to clear customs and how customs' processing times affect firms' exports remain largely unknown. In this paper, we precisely estimate the effects of custom-related delays on firms' exports. In so doing, we use a unique dataset that consists of the universe of Uruguay's export transactions over the period 2002–2011 and includes precise information on the actual time it took for each of these transactions to go through customs. We account for potential endogeneity of these processing times by exploiting the conditional random allocation of shipments to different verification channels associated with the use of risk-based control procedures. Results suggest that delays have a significant negative impact on firms' exports along several dimensions. Effects are more pronounced on sales to newer buyers.

Keywords: Customs; Exports; Uruguay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 F13 F14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2015.01.011

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