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Accomplice-Witnesses, Organized Crime and Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Italy

Since 1991 the Italian Legislator grants amnesties, protection and even economic bene.ts to former mobsters cooperating with the justice. These incentives were intro- duced to break down omertà. What is the economic logic behind this policy? Did the program succeed? To address these issues we develop a model accounting for the main trade-o¤s involved in the introduction of accomplice-witnesses regulations. We argue that rewarding informants is sometimes necessary to .ght organized crime and show how the optimal amnesty varies with the e¤ectiveness of the protection program, the reliability of the informants.testimonies, the strength of external complicities, and the internal cohesion between criminal partners. The optimal policy crime, spurs prosecution and induce a negative relationship between the number of talkers and the conviction rate. The available evidence supports the model.s predictions.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 232.

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Date of creation: 10 Jun 2009
Date of revision: 17 Oct 2009
Publication status: Published in Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2014, 116, pp. 1116-1159
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:232
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