Capital Flight in Liberia: Extent and Mitigation Recommendations

George B. Gould


This research paper presents a result and analysis of the volume and pattern of illicit financial flows from Liberia over a 10-year period from 2004 to 2013. The objective is to determine the level of capital flight and recommend policy for mitigation. The research was conducted through desk review of relevant literatures on the topic and direct interviews and meetings with professionals in the areas of economics, banking, etc. This report makes a contribution on illicit financial flows from Liberia given that existing research on long-term trends in the pattern of illicit flows from African countries is rather scanty and does not include Liberia. The paper presents estimates (2004-2013) from the Global Financial Integrity (GFI) 2015 report estimate of illicit financial flows from Liberia [1]. This was appropriate due to the challenges to collect data ourselves. 2004 to 2013. The observation from the statistical analysis of long-term trends brings out some interesting disparity in the pattern and growth of the observed flows. The GFI Report utilizing the World Bank Residual model and the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, illicit outflows from Liberia for the research period is estimated at about US$10 billion [1]. We argue that this shocking loss of capital seriously hampers the country efforts at poverty reduction, revenue and foreign exchange generation and economic development thus the need for immediate mitigation policy development and rollout must be considered.


Capital flight; net borrower; increase revenue; extent and mitigation recommendations.

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