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In the Shadow of the Labour Market

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  • Ogndal, Tone

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

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    Abstract

    Why do not people evade more taxes when their gain from evasion is higher than the expected penalties? Why does only a small minority evade when a large majority is willing to? These tax evasion puzzles are explained in a labour market framework where employees may combine reported work in firms with self-employed shadow work. On the margin, time spent on self-employed work reduces labour productivity in reported work. This creates an equilibrium where small, low-productive firms offer jobs with low wage rates but time for self-employed shadow work, while larger, more efficient firms offer jobs with higher reported wage rates but no time for shadow work. Improving the tax morale may not reduce evasion but only sort the honest people into jobs with no time for shadow work. Shadow work leads to an inefficient allocation of employees since it has the effect of a subsidy to low productive firms. Both lower taxes and minimum wages reduce evasion and improve labour allocation but harms low productive firms.

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    File URL: https://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2012/Memo-05-2012.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 05/2012.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: 14 Feb 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2012_005

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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
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    Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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    Keywords: Shadow work; Tax evasion; Labour market;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2004. "Tax Evasion and Social Interactions," Post-Print halshs-00175016, HAL.
    2. Benno Torgler, 2003. "The Importance of Faith: Tax Morale and Religiosity," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    3. Tonin, Mirco, 2011. "Minimum Wage and Tax Evasion: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Katherine Cuff & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain & Joanne Roberts, 2009. "Optimal Policies and the Informal Sector," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-14, McMaster University.
    6. James Alm & Benno Torgler, 2004. "Culture Differences and Tax Morale in the United States and in Europe," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-14, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    7. Dhami, Sanjit & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2007. "Why do people pay taxes? Prospect theory versus expected utility theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 171-192, September.
    8. Cummings, Ronald G. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & McKee, Michael & Torgler, Benno, 2009. "Tax morale affects tax compliance: Evidence from surveys and an artefactual field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 447-457, June.
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