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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Money Laundering, Corruption and Growth: An Empirical Rationale for a Global Convergence on Anti-Money Laundering Regulation


This paper provides empirical evidence on the impact of anti-money laundering regulations on growth and, it examines the rationale for a global adoption of these rules. The empirical results have led us to confirm a positive relation between low corruption levels and high investment and growth. We approached the impact on growth of money laundering prevention (MLP) initiatives in two ways: first, by verifying that the existence of these initiatives affects the perception of corruption. Second, by verifying that MLP variables, such as the ones we are focusing in this article - which criminalize types of money laundering activities different from those drug-related; make it an obligation to inform of suspicious financial activities; and establish a Financial Intelligence Unit (FlU) ¬showed to be related to growth and investment. We noticed, however, that these relations presented variations according to the set of countries to which variables were applied, i.e., Latin American and African countries showed a positive relation between growth an criminalizing money laundering crimes other than those drug-related, while OCDE high ¬income countries showed a negative relation.

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