February 07th 2020

Check out that pic! #1

Interesting research findings at a glance

The article Fisman and Miguel (2007) "Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets" study a curious problem.

Until 2002, U.N. diplomats in New York enjoyed diplomatic immunity for many crimes, including violations of parking rules. If a diplomat would park illegally, it was still counted as a violation of law and the diplomat received a parking ticket, but the diplomat did not have to pay the fine.


QUESTION: Would the diplomats still respect the law?

ANSWER: Check out that pic!


There is a large heterogeneity across diplomats from different countries in how much the law is respected in the absence of possible sanctions. Diplomats from many countries do not appear to engage in any kind of illegal activity even if no monetary costs are associated with it.

Furthermore, the unpaid fines correlate with the level of corruption in the diplomats' countries of origin. The authors argue that cultural/social norms play a role in this behavior.


Fisman, R., & Miguel, E. (2007). Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets. Journal of Political Economy, 115(6), 1020-1048. doi:10.1086/527495