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Effect of cultural tightness-looseness on money laundering: a cross-country study

Mariem Mejri (Department of Accounting, Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Hakim Ben Othman (American University of Malta, Bormla, Malta and University of Tunis, Tunis Business School, El Mourouj, Tunisia)
Basiem Al-Shattarat (Prince Sultan University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Kais Baatour (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Kairouan, Kairouan, Tunisia; Business Analytics and Decision Making Laboratory (BADEM), University of Tunis, Tunis Business School, El Mourouj, Tunisia and Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE), Ubud, Indonesia)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 14 June 2021

Issue publication date: 21 April 2022

242

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this interdisciplinary cross-country study is to investigate the influence of cultural tightness-looseness on money laundering.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors rely on tightness-looseness theory as the basis for their predictions. The authors use the Basel Anti Money Laundering Index to operationalize financial crimes. They use dynamic panel data regressions spanning from 2012 to 2018 across 66 countries.

Findings

The authors find a positive and significant effect of national culture on money laundering financial crime. This suggests that financial crimes increase in countries with higher levels of cultural looseness orientation. Moreover, the authors show that the absence of violence, control of corruption, political stability and voice and accountability has a significant and negative influence on money laundering financial crime.

Practical implications

Formal institutional factors are not the only factors that can help curb financial crimes, but policy regulators should also consider the degree of cultural tightness-looseness.

Originality/value

To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first research ever to examine the effects of cultural tightness-looseness on the level of financial crimes.

Keywords

Citation

Mejri, M., Othman, H.B., Al-Shattarat, B. and Baatour, K. (2022), "Effect of cultural tightness-looseness on money laundering: a cross-country study", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 414-426. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMLC-03-2021-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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