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. Zak says:

    They should use the same tow company at our apartment complex… those limos will NEVER ride the same again. Even if the charges are reversed, the “indignity” of having a diplomat stand in line for hours at the tow lot with all of the “little people” will be enough to cajole them into compliance.

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  2. Zak says:

    They should use the same tow company at our apartment complex… those limos will NEVER ride the same again. Even if the charges are reversed, the “indignity” of having a diplomat stand in line for hours at the tow lot with all of the “little people” will be enough to cajole them into compliance.

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  3. Zak says:

    They should hire the Lincoln Park Pirates to get under the skin of diplomats.

    From the famous Chicago Song…

    We break into cars when we gotta,
    With hammer and pickaxe and saw;
    And they said this garage had no license;
    But little care I for the law!
    Our drivers are friendly and courteous;
    Their good manners you always will get;
    ‘Cause they all are recent graduates
    Of the charm school in Joliet.

    To me, way, hey, tow them away,
    The Lincoln Park Pirates are we,
    From Wilmette to Gary, there’s nothin’ so hairy
    And we always collect our fee!
    So it’s way, hey, tow ‘em away,
    We plunder the streets of your town,
    Be it Edsel or Chevy, there’s no car too heavy,
    And no one can make us shut down.

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  4. Zak says:

    They should hire the Lincoln Park Pirates to get under the skin of diplomats.

    From the famous Chicago Song…

    We break into cars when we gotta,
    With hammer and pickaxe and saw;
    And they said this garage had no license;
    But little care I for the law!
    Our drivers are friendly and courteous;
    Their good manners you always will get;
    ‘Cause they all are recent graduates
    Of the charm school in Joliet.

    To me, way, hey, tow them away,
    The Lincoln Park Pirates are we,
    From Wilmette to Gary, there’s nothin’ so hairy
    And we always collect our fee!
    So it’s way, hey, tow ‘em away,
    We plunder the streets of your town,
    Be it Edsel or Chevy, there’s no car too heavy,
    And no one can make us shut down.

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  5. StCheryl says:

    Jglickman: Diplomatic immunity was established in order to prevent Country A from trumping up charges against the diplomats from Country B, when Country A does not agree with the policies of, or dislikes the leaders of Country B. It can be expressed in absurd (parking ticket scofflaws) and tragic (the inability to prosecute diplomats and their families for certain serious crimes) ways, raising the dander of the NY Post and other jingoists. And it works both ways. US diplomats are protected by it overseas. That is not a laughing matter for US diplomats in places like some of the former Soviet states.

    Refusing to pay congestion charge is not the first time that this administration has refused to contribute fairly in the world of diplomatic expenses. The US is several hundred million dollars in arrears in its payments to the UN because the Republican administration and Senate leaders are angry that the US cannot bully and dominate the UN and its members.

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  6. StCheryl says:

    Jglickman: Diplomatic immunity was established in order to prevent Country A from trumping up charges against the diplomats from Country B, when Country A does not agree with the policies of, or dislikes the leaders of Country B. It can be expressed in absurd (parking ticket scofflaws) and tragic (the inability to prosecute diplomats and their families for certain serious crimes) ways, raising the dander of the NY Post and other jingoists. And it works both ways. US diplomats are protected by it overseas. That is not a laughing matter for US diplomats in places like some of the former Soviet states.

    Refusing to pay congestion charge is not the first time that this administration has refused to contribute fairly in the world of diplomatic expenses. The US is several hundred million dollars in arrears in its payments to the UN because the Republican administration and Senate leaders are angry that the US cannot bully and dominate the UN and its members.

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  7. Don says:

    jonathan,

    While I agree that the US ought to pay the congestion charge in the interests of amity I believe their point is that it is a tax rather than a charge.

    Thank you for the clarification on Livingston’s suspension. I was working out of town at the time this happened so my access to the news was spotty at the time.

    I was in favor of the charge when it was brought in (easy for me as I don’t own a car and don’t live in the congestion area). But Livingston has been raising the charge massively over the past few years, which is rather unfair I think. It’s now £8 and is due to go to £10 next year. I suppose it’s no less unfair than what’s happened to charges for public transport – but those are unfair as well.

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  8. Don says:

    jonathan,

    While I agree that the US ought to pay the congestion charge in the interests of amity I believe their point is that it is a tax rather than a charge.

    Thank you for the clarification on Livingston’s suspension. I was working out of town at the time this happened so my access to the news was spotty at the time.

    I was in favor of the charge when it was brought in (easy for me as I don’t own a car and don’t live in the congestion area). But Livingston has been raising the charge massively over the past few years, which is rather unfair I think. It’s now ?8 and is due to go to ?10 next year. I suppose it’s no less unfair than what’s happened to charges for public transport – but those are unfair as well.

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