Parking Tickets and Corruption, Take Two

Last year we blogged about the fascinating study written by economists Ray Fisman and Ted Miguel analyzing the patterns of parking violations among diplomats to the United Nations in New York. They find that diplomats from high corruption countries have more unpaid parking tickets, as do diplomats from countries that are more anti-American.

Armed with that information, try to guess which country’s diplomats are the worst offenders when it comes to dodging congestion charges in London. If you guessed “Nigeria,” you would be close; it has the second worst record for deadbeat diplomats. Still, Nigeria has less than half of the outstanding fines accrued by the No. 1 offender, whose ambassador has been so reluctant to pay for tickets that the Mayor of London has branded him a “venal little crook.”

You can find the answer, which might surprise you, in this report from Britain’s Channel 4 News.

(Hat tip: Colin Robinson.)

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  1. mblank13 says:

    I worked for the US Embassy in London and the reason that the US refuses to pay the congestion charge is because they argue that it is a tax on those who operate in central London, not a road use fee, for which they are exempt from paying under the Vienna conventions. I worked to prepare some of the information and arguments around this and thats the basic argument. The local community of Westminster has a big problem with the embassy being in their neighborhood and this is not the only run in with the locals that embassy staff has encountered.

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  2. mblank13 says:

    I worked for the US Embassy in London and the reason that the US refuses to pay the congestion charge is because they argue that it is a tax on those who operate in central London, not a road use fee, for which they are exempt from paying under the Vienna conventions. I worked to prepare some of the information and arguments around this and thats the basic argument. The local community of Westminster has a big problem with the embassy being in their neighborhood and this is not the only run in with the locals that embassy staff has encountered.

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  3. ZH says:

    This is about congestion pricing, not parking tickets like the US study. The US embassy argues that they are exempt from congestion pricing due to various treaties. And given that the US embassy is probably one of the largest with the one of the largest number of diplomats and vehicles, they will have a large congestion pricing bill. The same is not necessarily true for real parking and moving violations, and the article implies that the US does pay those.

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  4. ZH says:

    This is about congestion pricing, not parking tickets like the US study. The US embassy argues that they are exempt from congestion pricing due to various treaties. And given that the US embassy is probably one of the largest with the one of the largest number of diplomats and vehicles, they will have a large congestion pricing bill. The same is not necessarily true for real parking and moving violations, and the article implies that the US does pay those.

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  5. zbicyclist says:

    One more example of the Bush administration contending that it is above the law.

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  6. zbicyclist says:

    One more example of the Bush administration contending that it is above the law.

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  7. egretman says:

    Why do we even have a huge embassy in London? What’s the point? Do we spy on them? Ever try to get help as a US citzen from the Embassy? Good luck. So they aren’t there to help us. So why are they there?

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  8. egretman says:

    Why do we even have a huge embassy in London? What’s the point? Do we spy on them? Ever try to get help as a US citzen from the Embassy? Good luck. So they aren’t there to help us. So why are they there?

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