Dancing with the devil: Country size and the incentive to tolerate money laundering
The incidence of money laundering, and the zeal with which international anti-money laundering (AML) policy is pursued, varies significantly from country to country, region to region. There are, however, quite substantial social costs associated with a policy of toleration, and this begs the question as to why such a variance should exist. In this paper we claim that, due to the globalisation of crime, if a single country should break the "chain of accountability", then it will provide a safe haven for criminals and attract the total financial proceeds of crime. Because smaller economies are best able to insulate themselves from the costs of crime, we argue that smaller countries bear only a tiny share of the total costs relative to the potential benefits of investment that money laundering offers, and so have a higher incentive to tolerate the practice compared to their larger neighbours. As such, we claim that the existence of a money laundering market is due to a policy of AML 'defection', and that the degree of 'defection' depends largely on the size of the country. We present a simple model of policy competition which formalises this intuition, and conclude by exploring a number of policy recommendations which flow from this.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
- Acemoglu, Daron, 1995.
"Reward structures and the allocation of talent,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-33, January.
- Brigitte Unger & Gregory Rawlings, 2008. "Competing for criminal money," Global Business and Economics Review, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 10(3), pages 331-352.
- Hans-Werner Sinn, 2002.
"The New Systems Competition,"
NBER Working Papers
8747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edwin M. Truman & Peter Reuter, 2004. "Chasing Dirty Money: The Fight Against Anti-Money Laundering," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 381, May.
- B. Unger & J. Ferwerda, 2008. "Regulating Money Laundering and Tax Havens: The Role of Blacklisting," Working Papers 08-12, Utrecht School of Economics.
- Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
- Amedeo Argentiero & Michele Bagella & Francesco Busato, 2008.
"Money laundering in a two sector model: using theory for measurement,"
CEIS Research Paper
128, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 09 Sep 2008.
- Amedeo Argentiero & Michele Bagella & Francesco Busato, 2008. "Money laundering in a two-sector model: using theory for measurement," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 341-359, December.
- Ivaldi, Marc & Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Economics of Tacit Collusion," IDEI Working Papers 186, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Előd Takáts, 2011.
"A Theory of "Crying Wolf" : The Economics of Money Laundering Enforcement,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 32-78.
- ElÃ¶d TakÃ¡ts, 2007. "A Theory of "Crying Wolf"; The Economics of Money Laundering Enforcement," IMF Working Papers 07/81, International Monetary Fund.
- Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
- Donato Masciandaro, 2005. "False and Reluctant Friends? National Money Laundering Regulation, International Compliance and Non-Cooperative Countries," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 17-30, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:30:y:2010:i:3:p:244-252. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.