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Money Laundering and its Regulation

  • Alberto Chong


  • Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes

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.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4493.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4493
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  1. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  2. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1203-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Friedrich Schneider & Robert Klinglmair, 2004. "Shadow Economies Around the World: What Do We Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 445-470, April.
  6. RAFAEL LaPORTA & FLORENCIO LOPEZ-de-SILANES & ANDREI SHLEIFER & ROBERT W. VISHNY, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance,"," CRSP working papers 324, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  8. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andre Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1904, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Raimundo Soto, 2003. "La Corrupción desde una Perspectiva Económica," Documentos de Trabajo 234, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  10. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," NBER Working Papers 6625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
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