Operations, Information and Decisions Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2-2010

Publication Source

Management Science

Volume

56

Issue

2

Start Page

219

Last Page

233

DOI

10.1287/mnsc.1090.1105

Abstract

To mitigate the threat that terrorists smuggle weapons of mass destruction into the United States through maritime containers, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspects containers upon entry to domestic ports. Inspection-driven congestion is costly, and CBP provides incentives to firms to improve security upstream in the supply chain, thereby reducing the inspection burden at U.S. ports. We perform an economic analysis of this incentive program, called Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), modeling in a game-theoretic framework the strategic interaction between CBP, trading firms, and terrorists. Our equilibrium results highlight the possibility that a properly run program can efficiently shift some of CBP's security burden to private industry. These results also suggest that CBP may have the opportunity to use strategic delay as an incentive for firms to join. Analysis of comparative statics shows that, with increasing capacity, membership in C-TPAT systematically declines.

Keywords

game theory, nuclear weapons, container inspections, homeland security, queueing theory, terrorism, principal-agent models

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Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.