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The underground economy and its macroeconomic consequences

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Author Info

  • Era Dabla-Norris
  • Andrew Feltenstein

Abstract

This study develops a dynamic general equilibrium model in which optimizing agents evade taxes by operating in the underground economy. The cost to firms of evading taxes is that they find themselves subject to credit rationing from banks. Our model simulations show that in the absence of budgetary flexibility to adjust expenditures, raising tax rates too high drives firms into the underground economy, thereby reducing the tax base. Aggregate investment in the economy is lowered because of credit rationing. Taxes that are too low eliminate the underground economy, but result in unsustainable budget and trade deficits. Thus, the optimal rate of taxation, from a macroeconomic point of view, may lead to some underground activity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Policy Reform.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 153-174

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:153-174

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Related research

Keywords: Underground economy; macroeconomic performance; credit rationing JEL Classification: H26; E26; C68;

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References

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  1. Stephane Straub, 2004. "Informal Sector: The Credit Market Channel," ESE Discussion Papers 101, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  2. Dessy, Sylvain & Pallage, Stéphane, 2001. "Taxes, Inequality and the Size of the Informal Sector," Cahiers de recherche 0112, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  3. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 2000. "Informality and rent-seeking bureaucracies in a model of long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 173-197, August.
  4. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-48, April.
  5. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Sangheon, 2008. "Does political intention affect tax evasion?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 401-415.
  2. Keith Blackburn & Niloy Bosey & Salvatore Capasso, 2010. "Tax Evasion, the Underground Economy and Financial Development," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 138, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  3. Salvatore Capasso & Tullio Jappelli, 2011. "Financial Development and the Underground Economy," CSEF Working Papers 298, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Giorgio Gobbi & Roberta Zizza, 2007. "Does the Underground Economy Hold Back Financial Deepening? Evidence from the Italian Credit Market," CEP Discussion Papers dp0789, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. HALICIOGLU, Ferda & Dell’Anno, Roberto, 2009. "An ARDL model of unrecorded and recorded economies in Turkey," MPRA Paper 24982, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Robinson, Sherman, 2013. "Contribution of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling to Policy Formulation in Developing Countries," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
  7. Andrew Feltenstein & Luciana Lopes & Janet Porras Mendoza & Sally Wallace, 2013. "“The Impact of Micro-simulation and CGE modeling on Tax Reform and Tax Advice in Developing Countries”: A Survey of Alternative Approaches and an Application to Pakistan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1309, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Andrew Feltenstein & Musharraf Cyan, 2012. "A Computational General Equilibrium Approach to Sectoral Analysis for Tax Potential: An Application to Pakistan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1226, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  9. Manoel Bittencourt & Rangan Gupta & Lardo Stander, 2013. "Tax evasion, financial development and inflation: theory and empirical evidence," Working Papers 201316, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  10. Rand, John & Torm, Nina, 2012. "The Benefits of Formalization: Evidence from Vietnamese Manufacturing SMEs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 983-998.
  11. Andrew Feltenstein & Maral Shamloo, 2013. "Tax reform, the informal economy, and bank financing of capital formation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 1-28, February.
  12. Gabriela Inchauste & Mark Gradstein & Era Dabla-Norris, 2005. "What Causes Firms to Hide Output? the Determinants of Informality," IMF Working Papers 05/160, International Monetary Fund.
  13. 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.

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