Accomplice Witnesses and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy

44 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2014

See all articles by Antonio Acconcia

Antonio Acconcia

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics

Giovanni Immordino

University of Salerno - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF)

Salvatore Piccolo

University of Bergamo, Compass Lexecon and CSEF

Patrick Rey

Toulouse School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

We develop an agency model of organized crime accounting for the main trade‐offs involved in the introduction of an accomplice‐witness program. We characterize the optimal policy and identify its main determinants in a framework where public officials can be dishonest. Our predictions are tested by using data for Italy before and after the introduction of the 1991 accomplice‐witness program. As predicted by the model and the earlier antitrust literature, the program appears to have strengthened deterrence and enhanced prosecution. Moreover, consistent with a novel prediction of our theory, the evidence suggests that the program efficacy is affected by the judicial system efficiency.

Keywords: Deterrence, leniency, Mafia, whistle‐blower

JEL Classification: D73, D78, K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Acconcia, Antonio and Immordino, Giovanni and Piccolo, Salvatore and Rey, Patrick, Accomplice Witnesses and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy (October 2014). The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 116, Issue 4, pp. 1116-1159, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2499945 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sjoe.12080

Antonio Acconcia (Contact Author)

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Cintia Monte S. Angelo
Napoli, 80126
Italy

Giovanni Immordino

University of Salerno - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF) ( email )

84084 Fisciano, Salerno
Italy

Salvatore Piccolo

University of Bergamo, Compass Lexecon and CSEF ( email )

via de caniana 2
24127
Bergamo, BG 24127
Italy

Patrick Rey

Toulouse School of Economics ( email )

2 Rue du Doyen-Gabriel-Marty
Toulouse, 31042
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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