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In recent years, there have been several high-profile leaks of documents related to the offshore financial industry, such as the Pandora Papers released last year. Some of the data contained in the leaked documents have now been made public. In this brief, SITE researchers Jonathan Lehne and Maiting Zhuang discuss the advantages and pitfalls of using these data for economic analysis. They show that despite some caveats, there are patterns in these data that can shed light on a secretive industry.

For instance, the number of offshore entities linked to a country increases significantly when that country experiences a change in political leadership. By contrast, financial sanctions on a given country result in a reduction in the number of established offshore entities. In the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, many countries signed bilateral treaties with tax havens in order to promote transparency. Jonathan’s and Maiting’s analysis of the leaked data shows that the overwhelming majority of offshore entities are not governed by these treaties.

Read the full insight to learn more about patterns in these data that can shed light on a secretive industry >>

Contact the authors:

Jonathan Lehne
Assistant Professor at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics
Email: Jonathan.Lehne@hhs.se

Maiting Zhuang
Assistant Professor at the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics
Email: Maiting.Zhuang@hhs.se

Contact:
Dominick Nilsson

Email: Dominick.Nilsson@hhs.se

Digital Communication Manager,
Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics