In a joint study with Ecorys, a team from Utrecht University led by Professor Unger have, for the first time estimated the extent of money laundering over time with a gravity model. This research, financed by the Dutch Ministry of Finance, seeks to determine the extent to which money laundering has an undermining effect on the regular economy and the financial system.
The study consists of two parts: the first part examines where criminally earned revenues are placed in the regular economy, the second part estimates the annual amount that is laundered in the Netherlands. The extensive research spanning all variables from 181 countries contains more than 20 million observations and estimates the total amount of global money laundering at 677 billion euros in 2014, or 1.2 percent of the world’s GDP. Of this figure the group estimate 16 billion euros can be attributed to money laundering in the Netherlands.
The team consisting of members of Utrecht University School of Economics; Professor Brigitte Unger, Joras Ferwerda, Alexander van Saase, former USE members Ian Koetsier and Bojken Gjoleka, members of Ecorys Brigitte Slot and Linette Swart and University of Amsterdam Professor Edward Kleemans also propose several policy and future research recommendations, particularly a differentiated money laundering policy given the increasing prevalence of fraud as a money laundering instrument.