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Detecting Wage Under-Reporting Using a Double Hurdle Model

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Author Info

  • Peter Elek

    (E”tv”s Lor nd University, Department of Econonomics)

  • Janos Kollo

    ()
    (Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Balazs Reizer

    (Central European University)

  • Peter A. Szabo

    (Reformed Presbyterian Church of Central and Eastern Europe)

Abstract

We estimate a double hurdle (DH) model of the Hungarian wage distribution assuming censoring at the minimum wage and wage under-reporting (i.e. compensation consisting of the minimum wage, subject to taxation, and an unreported cash supplement). We estimate the probability of under-reporting for minimum wage earners, simulate their genuine earnings and classify them and their employers as 'cheaters' and 'non-cheaters'. In the possession of the classification we check how cheaters and non-cheaters reacted to the introduction of a minimum social security contribution base, equal to 200 per cent of the minimum wage, in 2007. The findings suggest that cheaters were more likely to raise the wages of their minimum wage earners to 200 per cent of the minimum wage thereby reducing the risk of tax audit. Cheating firms also experienced faster average wage growth and slower output growth. The results suggest that the DH model is able to identify the loci of wage under-reporting with some precision.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market with number 1201.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:has:bworkp:1201

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Keywords: tax evasion; double hurdle model; Hungary;

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References

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  1. Meyer, Robert H & Wise, David A, 1983. "Discontinuous Distributions and Missing Persons: The Minimum Wage and Unemployed Youth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1677-98, November.
  2. Yaniv, Gideon, 1988. "Withholding and non-withheld tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 183-204, March.
  3. Kertesi, Gabor & Kollo, Janos, 2003. "Fighting “Low Equilibria” by Doubling the Minimum Wage? Hungary’s Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 970, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Dinardo, J. & Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: a Semiparametric Approach," Cahiers de recherche 9406, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. Robert MOFFIT & John FITZGERALD & Peter GOTTSCHALK, 1999. "Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Role of Selection on Observables," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 55-56, pages 129-152.
  6. María Engracia ROCHINA-BARRACHINA, 1999. "A New Estimator for Panel Data Sample Selection Models," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 55-56, pages 153-181.
  7. Giampaolo Arachi and Alessandro Santoro, 2008. "Tax Enforcement for SMEs: Lessons from the Italian Experience?," Taxation eJournal of Tax Research , ATAX, University of New South Wales.
  8. Konstantin Pashev, 2006. "Presumptive Taxation: Lessons from Bulgaria," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 399-418.
  9. Jaanika Merik�ll & Karsten Staehr, 2010. "Unreported Employment and Envelope Wages in Mid-Transition: Comparing Developments and Causes in the Baltic Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(4), pages 637-670, December.
  10. Labeaga, Jose M., 1999. "A double-hurdle rational addiction model with heterogeneity: Estimating the demand for tobacco," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 49-72, November.
  11. Mirco Tonin, 2007. "Minimum Wage and Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp865, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  12. Natalya Y. Shelkova, 2008. "Low-wage labor markets amd the power of suggestion," Working Papers 1112, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  13. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
  14. Meyer, Robert H & Wise, David A, 1983. "The Effects of the Minimum Wage on the Employment and Earnings of Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 66-100, January.
  15. Steven T. Yen & Andrew M. Jones, 1997. "Household Consumption of Cheese: An Inverse Hyperbolic Sine Double-Hurdle Model with Dependent Errors," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 246-251.
  16. Kenneth A. Kriz & Jaanika Meriküll & Alari Paulus & Karsten Staehr, 2007. "Why Do Individuals Evade Payroll And Income Taxation In Estonia?," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 49, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Detection of wage under-reporting
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-01-24 15:32:00
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Cited by:
  1. Todd Kumler & Eric Verhoogen & Judith A. Frías, 2013. "Enlisting Employees in Improving Payroll-Tax Compliance: Evidence from Mexico," NBER Working Papers 19385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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