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The Spread of Anti-Trafficking Policies: Evidence from a New Index

48 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2011  

Seo-Young Cho

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics

Axel Dreher

University of Heidelberg

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

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Abstract

We analyze the spread of policies dealing with international trafficking in human beings. Arguing that countries are unlikely to make independent choices, we identify pressure, externalities and learning or emulation as plausible diffusion mechanisms for spatial dependence in anti-trafficking policies. We develop a new index measuring governments' overall anti-trafficking policies for 177 countries over the 2000-2009 period. We also assess a country's level of compliance in the three main constituent dimensions of anti-trafficking policies – prosecution, protection and prevention. Employing a spatial autoregressive model, we find that, with the exception of victim protection measures, anti-trafficking policies diffuse across contiguous countries and main trading partners due to externality effects. We find evidence for learning or emulation effects in all policy domains, with countries looking toward peers with similar political views or cultural values. Surprisingly, major destination countries do not seem to exert pressure on relevant main countries of origin or transit to ratchet up their policies.

Keywords: human trafficking, human rights, spatial dependence of policies

JEL Classification: O15, F22, P41

Suggested Citation

Cho, Seo-Young and Dreher, Axel and Neumayer, Eric, The Spread of Anti-Trafficking Policies: Evidence from a New Index. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5559. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1790670

Seo-Young Cho (Contact Author)

University of Marburg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Barfuessertor 2
Marburg, Hessen 35037
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics-human-trafficking.org/

Axel Dreher

University of Heidelberg ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.axel-dreher.de

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
WC2A 2AE London
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

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