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Money Laundering and its Regulation

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  • Alberto Chong

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  • Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes

Abstract

The recent wave of terrorist attacks has increased the attention paid to money laundering activities. Using several methodologies, this paper investigates empirically the determinants of money laundering and its regulation in over 80 countries by assembling a cross-country dataset on proxies for money laundering and the prevalence of feeding activities. The paper additionally constructs specific money laundering regulation indices based on available information on laws and their mechanisms of enforcement and measures their impact on money laundering proxies. The paper finds that tougher money laundering regulations, particularly those that criminalize feeding activities and improve disclosure, are linked to lower levels of money laundering across countries; the results are robust to potential endogeneity of money laundering regulation. The relevance of historical factors in explaining the variation of money laundering regulation across countries sheds light on theories of institutions and provides room for further action, particularly in the areas of the law that improve the impact of criminalization, including liability of intermediaries, reductions of the burden of proof and better disclosure.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Chong & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, 2007. "Money Laundering and its Regulation," Research Department Publications 4493, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4493
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
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    8. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
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    11. Raimundo Soto, 2003. "La Corrupción desde una Perspectiva Económica," Documentos de Trabajo 234, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
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    1. repec:eee:matsoc:v:87:y:2017:i:c:p:64-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fanta, F & Mohsin, H, 2010. "Anti-Money Laundry regulation and Crime: A two-period model of money-in-the-utility-function," MPRA Paper 25773, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
    4. Pietro A. Bianchi & Antonio Marra & Donato Masciandaro & Nicola Pecchiari, 2017. "Is It Worth Having the Sopranos on Board? Corporate Governance Pollution and Organized Crime: The Case of Italy," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1759, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

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