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Illicit financial flows


Aim of the project

As part of a multi-year project, ILPI is conducting research on the linkages between illicit financial flows, natural resource extraction and tax havens. Illicit financial flows, the ‘underbelly’ of the global financial system, are estimated to deprive developed and developing countries of billions of US-dollars each year in lost tax revenue and thus to have a huge impact on the economic and social development of countries around the world.

ILPI’s research regarding these illicit flows concentrates on two aspects: the first one is the fundamental problem of measuring and estimating the magnitude of these flows, which results in particular from their illicit nature. ILPI is investigating the merits, limits and underlying assumptions of the various methods that have been proposed to estimate illicit flows in the absence of robust data, and how to improve these approaches. The second research strand aims at modelling the complex social, political and economic systems in which illicit financial flows are generated, in order to gain new insights into the underlying dynamics and to devise new policy options to counter them. The focus is placed on countries with significant natural resources and extractive industries, particularly in an African context.


  • Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Deliverables & time frame


  • Two academic research articles

 Time frame

  • March 2015 – December 2017
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ILPI has closed down. The information on this page is kept for historical reasons more information

ILPI has closed down. The information on this page is kept for historical reasons