Capital flight and trade misinvoicing in Zimbabwe

This paper estimates trade misinvoicing in Zimbabwe from major trading partners using the Morgenstern (1963) methodology. It uses trade data from 1980 to 2014 from the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database. The results show that unrecorded capital outflows occur through trade with different countries including Italy, United States, Germany, and China, while unrecorded capital inflows into Zimbabwe are mainly from South Africa, Belgium, and Australia. Trade misinvoicing occurs mostly in exports of diamonds, gold, and nickel. Misinvoicing through imports is not rampant and occurs mostly through Germany, South Africa, and Zambia. The results show that capital flight increased during the period of macroeconomic and political instability. This indicates the need to ensure political and macroeconomic stability to reduce capital flight.