Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Gravity Models of Trade-based Money Laundering

Contents:

Author Info

  • Joras Ferwerda
  • Mark Kattenberg
  • Han-Hsin Chang
  • Brigitte Unger
  • Loek Groot
  • Jakob Bikker

Abstract

Several attempts have been made in the economics literature to measure money laundering. However, the adequacy of these models is difficult to assess, as money laundering takes place secretly and, hence, goes unobserved. An exception is trade-based money laundering (TBML), a special form of trade abuse that has been discovered only recently. TBML refers to criminal proceeds that are transferred around the world using fake invoices that under- or overvalue imports and exports. This article is a first attempt to test well-known prototype models proposed by Walker and Unger to predict illicit money laundering flows and to apply traditional gravity models borrowed from international trade theory. To do so, we use a dataset of Zdanowicz of TBML flows from the US to 199 countries. Our test rejects the specifications of the Walker and Unger prototype models, at least for TBML. The traditional gravity model that we present here can indeed explain TBML flows worldwide in a plausible manner. An important determinant is licit trade, the mass in which TBML is hidden. Furthermore, our results suggest that criminals use TBML in order to escape the stricter anti moneylaundering regulations of financial markets.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.dnb.nl/en/binaries/Working%20Paper%20318_tcm47-258387.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 318.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:318

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Postbus 98, 1000 AB Amsterdam
Web page: http://www.dnb.nl/en/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Money laundering; international trade; gravity model; Walker model;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Stephen Redding & Peter K Schott, 2003. "Distance, skill deepening and development : will peripheral countries ever get rich?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 207, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Deardorff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade : Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Papers 95-05, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  5. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2006. "Corruption and the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1653, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. van Bergeijk,Peter A. G. & Brakman,Steven (ed.), 2010. "The Gravity Model in International Trade," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521196154, April.
  7. Walker John & Unger Brigitte, 2009. "Measuring Global Money Laundering: "The Walker Gravity Model"," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 821-853, December.
  8. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1996. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Working Papers 5565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bagella Michele & Busato Francesco & Argentiero Amedeo, 2009. "Money Laundering in a Microfounded Dynamic Model: Simulations for the U.S. and the EU-15 Economies," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 879-902, December.
  10. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  11. Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Money Laundering and Financial Means of Organized Crime: Some Preliminary Empirical Findings," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 26, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  12. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
  13. Béné, Christophe & Lawton, Rebecca & Allison, Edward H., 2010. ""Trade Matters in the Fight Against Poverty": Narratives, Perceptions, and (Lack of) Evidence in the Case of Fish Trade in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 933-954, July.
  14. Bikker, Jacob A, 1987. "An International Trade Flow Model with Substitution: An Extension of the Gravity Model," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 315-37.
  15. Jacob Bikker, 2009. "An extended gravity model with substitution applied to international trade," DNB Working Papers 215, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:318. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rob Vet).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.