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Labor supply when tax evasion is an option

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Author Info

  • Jørgensen, Øystein

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Ognedal, Tone

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Strøm, Steinar

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

We estimate labor supply when tax evasion is an option, using a discrete choice model on pooled Norwegian survey data from 1980 and 2001. Direct labor supply elasticities, conditional on sectors, are in the range of 0.2-0.4. The elasticities are higher for work that is not registered for taxation, than for registered work. Overall wage increases have a positive impact on the supply of registered work and a negative impact on supply of unregistered work. In addition to economic factors such as wages and tax rates, also social norms and opportunities for tax evasion at the work place have an impact on the supply of unregistered labor. The model is used to simulate the impact on labor supply of changes in the tax structure, such as the lowering of marginal tax rates. The fraction of the population who did unreported work was reduced from 1980 to 2001. Lower and less progressive tax rates after 1980 have contributed to this reduction. Although taxes matter for supply of both reported and non-reported labor, the impact is not strong. Social norms and opportunities for tax evasion at the work place are also important in explaining the change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 06/2005.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 06 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2005_006

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Related research

Keywords: Labor supply; tax evasion; survey data; microeconometrics;

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References

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  1. Isachsen, Arne Jon & Strom, Steinar, 1980. " The Hidden Economy: The Labor Market and Tax Evasion," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(2), pages 304-11.
  2. 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.
  3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  4. Lacroix, Guy & Fortin, Bernard, 1992. "Utility-Based Estimation of Labour Supply Functions in the Regular and Irregular Sectors," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1407-22, November.
  5. 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.
  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. Dagsvik, John K. & Strøm, Steinar, 2004. "Sectoral labor supply, choice restrictions and functional form," Memorandum 13/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Andersen, Per, 1977. " Tax Evasion and Labor Supply," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(3), pages 375-83.
  9. Cowell, Frank A., 1985. "Tax evasion with labour income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-34, February.
  10. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Razzolini, Tiziano, 2006. "Study on labor supply when tax evasion is an option with Box-Cox functional forms and random parameters," Memorandum 25/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Ognedal, Tone & Barth, Erling, 2005. "Unreported Labour," Memorandum 28/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Catalina Granda-Carvajal, 2011. "Macroeconomic Implications of the Underground Sector: Challenging the Double Business Cycle Approach," Working papers 2011-14, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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