OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers

OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers cover work on understanding aid flows, strengthening aid delivery and improving development policy. Topics include, among others, aid statistics and architecture, aid effectiveness, capacity development, development co-operation systems and management, evaluation of development programmes, as well as the relationship between development and trade, conflict and fragility, environment, gender equality, governance and poverty reduction.


Illicit financial flows: Illicit trade in counterfeit, pirated and substandard goods in Ghana

Illicit trade in goods that displace normally legal goods is an extensive global problem, which carries considerable development risks and losses for developing countries. Focusing on pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and consumer goods (which in itself consists of a broad range of goods), this case study reviews the example of Ghana to illustrate this problem, although it is a challenge afflicting all West African countries.

This paper highlights the magnitude and significance of the problem. It also reveals the actors involved, with a view to identify the drivers and interests behind the trade, and their developmental impacts. Although the case study focuses primarily on three kinds of goods in a single country, the analysis further aims to identify common causal factors that can be extrapolated across the counterfeit, pirated and substandard trade in the wider region with a view to inform the development of prospective policy recommendations.


Keywords: illicit trade, Ghana, illicit financial flows (IFFs), medicines, corruption, consumer goods, pirated goods, substandard goods, West Africa, agrochemicals, development, counterfeits, trade routes
JEL: Q01: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / General / Sustainable Development; O55: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Economywide Country Studies: Africa; O17: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements; K42: Law and Economics / Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior / Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law; F63: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization / Economic Impacts of Globalization: Economic Development
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