Ideas to action: independent research for global prosperity
Formal Employment and Organized Crime: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Colombia
October 31, 2019
Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentive. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellín over a decade. We explo...
Justice for the Displaced? Canadian Senator Ratna Omidvar on the CGD Podcast
June 18, 2019
Canadian Senator Ratna Omidvar on how the Frozen Assets Repurposing Act would work, what it could mean for Canada, and why it resonates with her personally.
A New Standard for Country-by-Country Reporting on Tax?
February 19, 2019
The vexed question of whether country-by-country (CBC) reports on multinational companies’ tax affairs should be put into the public domain has been a sticking point in debates on responsible tax practice for years.
The Proposed SDG Indicator on Illicit Financial Flows Risks Conflating Ordinary Business and Dirty Money
July 26, 2018
“Illicit financial flows” means dirty money crossing borders. It is an umbrella term which covers diverse actors including organised crime groups, business people making bribes, political leaders engaging in grand corruption, and major tax evaders hiding undeclared wealth. What they all ...
What Mining Can Learn from Oil: A Study of Special Transfer Pricing Practices in the Oil Sector, and their Potential Application to Hard Rock Minerals
July 16, 2018
Governments of mining countries are vulnerable to investors manipulating transfer prices as a means of avoiding paying taxes. This paper looks at whether special practices in the oil sector that provide materially greater protection against transfer pricing risk could be applied to hard rock mineral...
What Advice Would You Give to Penny Mordaunt on Combating Illicit Financial Flows?
May 14, 2018
London is one of the world’s premier destinations for kleptocrats and corrupt oligarchs seeking to launder ill-gotten gains into property, investments, private school fees and influence. There is no reliable estimate of the total value of laundered funds that impacts on the UK. However the&nbs...
The Mongolian Millions: What Can We Learn from the Making of a Multinational Tax Avoidance Scandal?
April 03, 2018
Earlier this year, The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (“SOMO”; a Dutch NGO) issued a report about an international mining company they said had avoided paying $232 million USD in taxes in Mongolia. The Oyu Tolgoi mine is considered a big deal in Mongolia and has been s...
Pinning Down Illicit Financial Flows: Why Definitions Matter
March 26, 2018
The SDGs include a target to “significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organised crime”. However, there is no globally agreed upon definition for “illicit financial flows.” My new C...
Illicit Financial Flows, Trade Misinvoicing, and Multinational Tax Avoidance: The Same or Different?
March 26, 2018
Illicit financial flows (IFFs) connected with corruption, crime, and tax evasion are an issue of increasing concern. However, there is not yet a clear consensus on how to define illicit financial flows, and even less on how to measure them.
How Illicit Finance Controls Can Make It Harder for Nonprofits to Serve the World’s Neediest —and What to Do about It
March 05, 2018
A growing number of humanitarian aid organizations operating in conflict zones are having trouble finding banks willing to work with them. We attended an international stakeholder dialogue on ensuring financial services for nonprofit organizations, and offer our preliminary thou...