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Illicit money flows as motives for FDI

Author

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  • Perez, M. Fabricio
  • Brada, Josef C.
  • Drabek, Zdenek

Abstract

We examine the role of FDI in facilitating money laundering and illegal capital flight, focusing on transition economies’ FDI outflows because they largely reflect current investment decisions rather than the inertia of past decisions. We estimate a model of FDI outflows in which illicit money flows influence the volume of FDI directed toward countries considered to be centers of money laundering. We show that traditional models of FDI are not able to account for these investment flows and that our results are robust when additional explanatory variables such as host country tax rates, governance, corruption, and cultural differences between the home and host country are included in the model. We estimate that 6–10% of total FDI outflows and over 20% of FDI to money-laundering countries from our sample were made to facilitate illicit money flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Perez, M. Fabricio & Brada, Josef C. & Drabek, Zdenek, 2012. "Illicit money flows as motives for FDI," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 108-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:40:y:2012:i:1:p:108-126
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2011.03.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Petr Jansky & Miroslav Palansky, 2017. "Estimating the Scale of Profit Shifting and Tax Revenue Losses Related to Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers IES 2017/25, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2017.
    2. Ramos, Miguel A. & Ashby, Nathan J., 2013. "Heterogeneous firm response to organized crime: Evidence from FDI in Mexico," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 176-194.
    3. Svetlana Ledyaeva & Päivi Karhunen & John Whalley, 2013. "Offshore jurisdictions (including Cyprus), corruption money laundering and Russian round-trip investment," NBER Working Papers 19019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Slim, Sadri, 2015. "Un modelo Mundell-Fleming con economía ilegal y lavado de dinero
      [Modeling illegal economy and money laundering: a Mundell-Fleming framework]
      ," MPRA Paper 64675, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Svetlana Ledyaeva & Päivi Karhunen & John Whalley, 2013. "If Foreign Investment Is not Foreign: Round-Trip Versus Genuine Foreign Investment in Russia," Working Papers 2013-05, CEPII research center.
    6. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:3:p:484-504 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:ememar:v:34:y:2018:i:c:p:175-191 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:idb:brikps:81941 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Svetlana Ledyaeva & Päivi Karhunen & Riitta Kosonen & John Whalley, 2015. "Offshore Foreign Direct Investment, Capital Round-Tripping, and Corruption: Empirical Analysis of Russian Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(3), pages 305-341, July.
    10. Brada, Josef C. & Kutan, Ali M. & Vukšić, Goran, 2013. "Capital Flight in the Presence of Domestic Borrowing: Evidence from Eastern European Economies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 32-46.
    11. Josef Brada & Ali Kutan & Goran Vukšić, 2011. "The costs of moving money across borders and the volume of capital flight: the case of Russia and other CIS countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(4), pages 717-744, November.
    12. Gunter, Frank R., 2017. "Corruption, costs, and family: Chinese capital flight, 1984–2014," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 105-117.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign direct investment; Capital flight; Money laundering; Illicit money flows;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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