In the Shadow of the Labour Market
AbstractWhy 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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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 05/2012.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 14 Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
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
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
More information through EDIRC
Shadow work; Tax evasion; Labour market;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion
- J29 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Other
- K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-IUE-2012-03-21 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2012-03-21 (Labour Economics)
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