The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the determinants of money laundering in Italy. Given the high heterogeneity in terms of economic, social and institutional characteristics, Italy is a compelling case study.
By using annual data over the period 2008 to 2013, the authors estimate a balanced panel data linear model using feasible generalized least squares. Following the main literature on the economics of crime, the authors regress the crime rate in each region-year against a set of determinants that include socio-economic, enforcement and crime-specific factors.
The authors’ findings reveal that, in most Italian regions, enforcement activities do exert significant deterrence on criminal behaviors: and a negative relationship between enforcement and money laundering can be identified only when there are high levels of enforcement efforts. Moreover, the authors find that the major determinants influencing the rate of money laundering differ between northern, central and southern regions, confirming the existence of regional dualism. In particular, the crime rate in the northern and central area is positively related to the level of corruption and the incidence of mafia-type crimes and negatively related to educational attainment, whereas in the southern regions, money laundering is positively related to the size of the gaming and gambling sector.
The present paper contributes to the extant literature on the economics of crime in several ways. First, it explicitly analyzes a specific type of financial crime, which presents the higher degree of sanctioning regime in the Italian legislation. Second, Italy offers an important country study because of the forceful presence of mafia clans and organized crime systems operating in the illegal market.
Reganati, F. and Oliva, M. (2018), "Determinants of money laundering: evidence from Italian regions", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 402-413. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMLC-09-2017-0052Download as .RIS
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