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The learning path of the hidden economy: the tax burden and tax evasion in New Zealand

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  • David Giles
  • Patrick Caragata

Abstract

This paper considers the 'learning curve' relationship between the aggregate tax rate and the relative size of the hidden economy in New Zealand. Some simple non-linear models are estimated so that the effects of changes in the effective tax rate on the underground economy can be simulated. This study finds that about half of the hidden activity in New Zealand is a learned response to changing opportunities and constraints in fiscal policy, but this amount varies over the business cycle. Simulating a zero tax rate permits us to discover the 'natural rate' of underground and criminal activity. Some partial lessons are drawn for taxation policy in that country.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2001)
Issue (Month): 14 ()
Pages: 1857-1867

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:14:p:1857-1867

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  1. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
  2. David E. A. Giles, 1999. "Modelling the Hidden Economy and the Tax-Gap in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9905, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  3. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
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  6. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  7. David Giles, 1997. "The hidden economy and tax-evasion prosecutions in New Zealand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(5), pages 281-285.
  8. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  11. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  12. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1983. "Tax Evasion and Tax Rates: An Analysis of Individual Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 363-73, August.
  13. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  14. Lemieux, Thomas & Fortin, Bernard & Frechette, Pierre, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in the Underground Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 231-54, March.
  15. David Giles, 1999. "The rise and fall of the New Zealand underground economy: are the responses symmetric?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 185-189.
  16. Kesselman, Jonathan R., 1989. "Income tax evasion : An intersectoral analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 137-182, March.
  17. Trandel, Greg & Snow, Arthur, 1999. "Progressive income taxation and the underground economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 217-222, February.
  18. Patrick J. Caragata, & David E. A. Giles, 1998. "Simulating the Relationship Between the Hidden Economy and the Tax Level and Tax Mix in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9804, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  19. Giles, David E A, 1997. "Testing for Asymmetry in the Measured and Underground Business Cycles in New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 73(222), pages 225-32, September.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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  22. David Giles, 1997. "Causality between the measured and underground economies in New Zealand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 63-67.
  23. Slemrod, Joel B, 1985. "An Empirical Test for Tax Evasion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 232-38, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Ratbek Dzhumashev & Emin Gahramanov, 2009. "A Stochastic Growth Model with Income Tax Evasion: Implications for Australia," Economics Series 2009_05, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  2. David E. A. Giles & Gugsa T. Werkneh & Betty J. Johnson, 1999. "Asymmetric Responses of the Underground Economy to Tax Changes: Evidence From New Zealand Data," Econometrics Working Papers 9911, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  3. Ratbek Dzhumashev & Emin Gahramanov, 2010. "A Growth Model with Income Tax Evasion: Some Implications for Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(275), pages 620-636, December.
  4. David E. A. Giles & Betty J. Johnson, 1999. "Taxes, Risk-Aversion, and the Size of the Underground Economy: A Nonparametric Analysis With New Zealand Data," Econometrics Working Papers 9910, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  5. repec:wii:bpaper:bowp:050 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Lipatov, Vilen, 2008. "Social Interaction in Tax Evasion," MPRA Paper 8829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Amihai Glazer, 2008. "Reducing Current Taxes to Raise Future Revenue," Working Papers 080914, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  8. Robert Draeseke & David E. A. Giles, 1999. "A Fuzzy Logic Approach to Modelling the Underground Economy," Econometrics Working Papers 9909, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  9. Lipatov, Vilen, 2003. "Evolution of Tax Evasion," MPRA Paper 966, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Dec 2005.

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