Antonio Acconcia, Giovanni Immordino, Salvatore Piccolo, and Patrick Rey, Accomplice-Witness and Organized Crime: Theory and Evidence from Italy, IDEI Working Paper, n. 777, March 30, 2013.


We develop an agency model of organized crime accounting for the main trade-offs involved by 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, consistently with a novel prediction of our theory, the evidence suggests that the program efficacy is affected by the judicial system efficiency.


Accomplice-witness; Criminal Organizations; Leniency; Whistleblowing;