The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper reviews the main analytical, empirical, and policy issues related to the macroeconomic implications of money laundering. The paper discusses, first, how money laundering can be measured, given that it is unobservable, and reports cross-section econometric estimates of the displacement of monetary behavior in industrial countries attributed to money laundering. It then examines the various potential channels by which money laundering influences macroeconomic performance, including an econometric estimate of its effects on GDP growth rates. Finally, the paper discusses macropolicy implications, particularly in the areas of exchange controls, prudential banking supervision, tax evasion, statistical reporting, and legislation.