Parking Tickets and Corruption

New York City, home to the United Nations and many foreign diplomats, has famously coped with the problem of diplomats racking up comically high numbers of parking tickets. Ray Fisman and Edward Miguel have made a good lemonade from these lemons, writing a paper that explores the correlation between a given country’s level of corruption and its diplomats’ willingness to incur tickets. Their conclusion:

We find tremendous persistence in corruption norms: diplomats from high corruption countries (based on existing survey-based indices) have significantly more parking violations. In a second main result, officials from countries that survey evidence indicates have less favorable popular views of the United States commit significantly more parking violations, providing nonlaboratory evidence on the role that sentiment and affinity play in economic decision-making.

Hat tip: James Erlandson and the Private Sector Development Blog.

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  1. mjs says:

    In London, diplomats of both the US and Germany are refusing to pay the Congestion Charge, arguing that it’s a tax, and that as diplomats, they shouldn’t have to pay it:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1832044,00.html

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  2. mjs says:

    In London, diplomats of both the US and Germany are refusing to pay the Congestion Charge, arguing that it’s a tax, and that as diplomats, they shouldn’t have to pay it:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1832044,00.html

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  3. jcl says:

    Solution: tow it if it’s illegally parked. No tickets involved at all. Just the time and inconvenience of “Dude, Where’s My Car” action.

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  4. jcl says:

    Solution: tow it if it’s illegally parked. No tickets involved at all. Just the time and inconvenience of “Dude, Where’s My Car” action.

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  5. dg says:

    The disagreement between London mayor Ken Livingstone and the US embassy over the congestion charge is not analogous to unpaid parking tickets. It’s mostly driven by London politics.

    The London mayor is always looking for a fight with the Americans because it appeals to a big segment of his core supporters. (He similarly looks for extended disputes with a specific religious group, also because it plays well with a segment of his constituency.)

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  6. dg says:

    The disagreement between London mayor Ken Livingstone and the US embassy over the congestion charge is not analogous to unpaid parking tickets. It’s mostly driven by London politics.

    The London mayor is always looking for a fight with the Americans because it appeals to a big segment of his core supporters. (He similarly looks for extended disputes with a specific religious group, also because it plays well with a segment of his constituency.)

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  7. Don says:

    Red Kennie, our mayor. He doesn’t dislike all Americans. He hired an American from the New York subways to help fight the battle against privatisation of the London Tube. Next week he’s invited Hugo Chavez in for a visit, mostly to give Tony Blair a thumb in the eye. He recently had to serve a month’s suspension for telling a Jewish Journalist that he reminde him of a Nazi Concentration Camp guard. I think Livingston has trouble holding his drink.

    Kind of a mixed blessing, is Kennie.

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  8. Don says:

    Red Kennie, our mayor. He doesn’t dislike all Americans. He hired an American from the New York subways to help fight the battle against privatisation of the London Tube. Next week he’s invited Hugo Chavez in for a visit, mostly to give Tony Blair a thumb in the eye. He recently had to serve a month’s suspension for telling a Jewish Journalist that he reminde him of a Nazi Concentration Camp guard. I think Livingston has trouble holding his drink.

    Kind of a mixed blessing, is Kennie.

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