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Accomplice-Witnesses, Organized Crime and Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Italy

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Abstract

Since 1991 the Italian Legislator grants amnesties, protection and even economic bene.ts to former mobsters cooperating with the justice. These incentives were intro- duced to break down omertà. What is the economic logic behind this policy? Did the program succeed? To address these issues we develop a model accounting for the main trade-o¤s involved in the introduction of accomplice-witnesses regulations. We argue that rewarding informants is sometimes necessary to .ght organized crime and show how the optimal amnesty varies with the e¤ectiveness of the protection program, the reliability of the informants.testimonies, the strength of external complicities, and the internal cohesion between criminal partners. The optimal policy sti.es crime, spurs prosecution and induce a negative relationship between the number of talkers and the conviction rate. The available evidence supports the model.s predictions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 232.

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Date of creation: 10 Jun 2009
Date of revision: 17 Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:232

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Related research

Keywords: Accomplice-witnesses; Criminal Organizations; Leniency; Whistle-Blower;

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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "The Economic Costs of Organized Crime: Evidence from Southern Italy," Working Papers 054, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  2. Martin Dufwenberg & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2011. "Legalizing Bribes," EIEF Working Papers Series 1117, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Dec 2011.

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