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Tax evasion, the underground economy and financial development

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  • Blackburn, Keith
  • Bose, Niloy
  • Capasso, Salvatore

Abstract

We study the relationship between the underground economy and financial development in a model of tax evasion and bank intermediation. Agents with heterogeneous skills seek loans in order to undertake risky investment projects. Asymmetric information between borrowers and lenders implies a menu of loan contracts that induce self-selection in a separating equilibrium. Faced with these contracts, agents choose how much of their income to declare by trading off their incentives to offer collateral against their disincentives to comply with tax obligations. The key implication of the analysis is that the marginal net benefit of income disclosure increases with the level of financial development. Thus, in accordance with empirical observation, we establish the result that the lower is the stage of such development, the higher is the incidence of tax evasion and the greater is the size of the underground economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 83 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 243-253

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:2:p:243-253

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Tax evasion; Shadow economy; Financial development;

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References

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  1. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 14520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dabla-Norris, Era & Gradstein, Mark & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2008. "What causes firms to hide output? The determinants of informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 1-27, February.
  3. Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2003. "Regulations, Market Structure, Institutions, and the Cost of Financial Intermediation," NBER Working Papers 9890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
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  8. Bose, Niloy & Cothren, Richard, 1996. "Equilibrium loan contracts and endogenous growth in the presence of asymmetric information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 363-376, October.
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  10. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
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  12. Erwan Quintin, 2008. "Contract enforcement and the size of the informal economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 395-416, December.
  13. Loayza, Norman A., 1997. "The economics of the informal sector : a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1727, The World Bank.
  14. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  15. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  16. Antunes, Antonio R. & Cavalcanti, Tiago V. de V., 2007. "Start up costs, limited enforcement, and the hidden economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 203-224, January.
  17. Azariadis Costas & Smith Bruce D., 1993. "Adverse Selection in the Overlapping Generations Model: The Case of Pure Exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 277-305, August.
  18. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  19. Bencivenga, Valerie R. & Smith, Bruce D., 1993. "Some consequences of credit rationing in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 97-122.
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Cited by:
  1. Beck, T.H.L. & Lin, C. & Ma, Y., 2010. "Why Do Firms Evade Taxes? The Role of Information Sharing and Financial Sector Outreach," Discussion Paper 2010-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Germana Giombini & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2012. "The effects of tax evasion and the inefficiency of the legal system on firms’ financial constraints: are they complements or substitutes?," Working Papers 1207, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2012.
  3. Keith Blackburn & Niloy Bosey & Salvatore Capasso, 2008. "Financial Development and the Underground Economy," Working Papers 5_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  4. Capasso, Salvatore & Jappelli, Tullio, 2013. "Financial development and the underground economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 167-178.

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