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A Theory of "Crying Wolf" : The Economics of Money Laundering Enforcement

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  • Előd Takáts

Abstract

The article shows how excessive reporting, called "crying wolf", can dilute the information value of reports and how more reports can mean less information. Excessive reporting is investigated by undertaking the first formal analysis of money laundering enforcement. Banks monitor transactions and report suspicious activity to government agencies, which use these reports to identify investigation targets. Banks face fines should they fail to report money laundering. However, excessive fines force banks to report transactions which are less suspicious. The empirical evidence is shown to be consistent with the model's predictions. The model is used to suggest implementable corrective policy measures, such as decreasing fines and introducing reporting fees. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:27:y::i:1:p:32-78
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewp018
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    Cited by:

    1. Raffaella Barone & Domenico Delle Side & Donato Masciandaro, 2018. "Drug trafficking, money laundering and the business cycle: Does secular stagnation include crime?," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 409-426, May.
    2. B. Unger & F. van Waarden, 2009. "Attempts to Dodge Drowning in Data : Rule- and Risk-Based Anti Money Laundering Policies Compared," Working Papers 09-19, Utrecht School of Economics.
    3. Friedrich Schneider, 2011. "The Financial Flows of the Transnational Crime: Some Preliminary Empirical Results," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 53, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "Die Finanzströme von organisierter Kriminalität und Terrorismus: was wissen wir (nicht)?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 78(4), pages 73-87.
    5. Schneider, Friedrich, 2010. "The (Hidden) Financial Flows of Terrorist and Organized Crime Organizations: A Literature Review and Some Preliminary Empirical Results," IZA Discussion Papers 4860, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Raffaella Barone & Donato Masciandaro, 2011. "Organized crime, money laundering and legal economy: theory and simulations," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 115-142, August.
    7. Yallwe, Hagos Alem & Buscemi, Antonino, 2011. "Money laundry and financial development," MPRA Paper 32219, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Gnutzmann, Hinnerk & McCarthy, Killian J. & Unger, Brigitte, 2010. "Dancing with the devil: Country size and the incentive to tolerate money laundering," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 244-252, September.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Raul Caruso, 2011. "The (Hidden) Financial Flows of Terrorist and Transnational Crime Organizations: A Literature Review and Some Preliminary Empirical Results," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 52, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Patrycja Chodnicka, 2012. "Money laundering risk management in banking system (Zarzadzanie ryzykiem prania pieniedzy w systemie bankowym)," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 10(39), pages 206-222.

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