International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Human Trafficking – Socio-Economic Determinants: Cross Countries Analysis
Mun Heng TOH, Bo JIANG

This paper shows that the geographical concentration of Human Trafficking can be explained by the developmental, political and cultural factors in each country. Using the set of data containing 64 countries compiled by the United Nations Office against Drug and Crime (UNODC) from 2003 to 2008, we specified and estimated the model with human trafficking as the dependent variable explained by GDP per capita, openness of the economy, OECD membership, Misery Index, percentage of the population being Muslim and Protestant, as well as the population heterogeneity. We found an ‘Inverted U’ relationship between Human Trafficking rates and the square term of GDP per capita, and estimated the turning point to be $3049. Beyond that human trafficking decreases with increasing GDP per capita. It may appear that countries can possibly grow their way out of Human Trafficking through sustained economic development. However, appropriate legal enforcement, international cooperation, and setting up of institutions that proactively disrupt the value chain, to increase costs and dampen demand are still very much needed.

Full Text: PDF