Money Laundering: A Review Essay and Policy Implication

Posted: 19 Apr 2017

See all articles by Raffaella Barone

Raffaella Barone

University of Salento - Department of Law

Date Written: April 17, 2017


Money laundering is a global business with an international profile. Organized crime carries out this illegal activity to infiltrate in the legal economy, upsetting the balances.

The relevance of the phenomenon aroused the interest of academics and other experts, belonging to different fields. In the last years the empirical analysis carried out by scientists showed that, by means of money laundering, every year the criminal sector is able to held legal assets for an amount equal to a multiplier of corresponding dirty money gained by illegal activity. In particular, it seems that the global legal capital due to criminal activities is about US$ 1.2 trillion. Nevertheless, this value change if we consider the influence of the business cycle on illegal market. Such relationship could realize via two different channels. On the one side, illegal markets grow at varying rates depending on the status of the legal economy. Secondly, the business cycle influences legal markets that illegal operators make use of to reinvest their profits.

In this paper the theoretical and empirical literature on Money Laundering will be surveyed, suggesting some policy implications.

Keywords: Money Laundering, Organized Crime, Criminal Economy, Drug Traffic

JEL Classification: E26 G28, F33, H26, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Barone, Raffaella, Money Laundering: A Review Essay and Policy Implication (April 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Raffaella Barone (Contact Author)

University of Salento - Department of Law ( email )

Campus Universitario - Via Li Tufi
LECCE, LE 73020

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