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Illicit Flows

While the debate on trying to conceptualize, measure and curb illicit flows has figured prominently on the international policy agenda in recent years, academic research on these issues is only slowly following suit (see, for example, the 2012 World Bank publication Draining Development?). Calcula-tions based on leakages from the balance of payments and the deliberate misinvoicing of external trade show that illicit money flows from developing countries are increasing year after year and are estimated1 to have amounted to more than 946 billion USD in 2011.

The Work Package is subdivided in two sub-packages: 

  • IF1 will map the methods of measuring illegal money flows. This will be complemented with several case studies in Belgian partner countries where the relevance and approporiateness of specific measurement methods will be reviewed and tested. 
  • IF 2, on a more conceptual level, will apply recent insights in the so-called "real options approach to criminal behavior" to decision-making with reference to illicit financial flows.