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Wages, Unemployment, and the Underground Economy

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  • Kolm, Ann-Sofie

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Larsen, Birthe

    ()
    (CIM and Copenhagen Business School)

Abstract

While examining the macroeconomic effects of increased government control of the informal sector, this paper develops a two-sector general equilibrium model featuring matching frictions and worker-firm wage bargaining. Different goods are produced in the formal sector and the informal sector, and workers search for jobs in both sectors. We analyse the impact of higher punishment rates and a higher audit rate on labor market performance, and we find that a higher punishment rate (i) reduces the size of the informal sector and increases the size of the formal sector, (ii) decreases real producer wages in both sectors, and (iii) reduces the unemployment rate. The effect of a higher audit rate is less clear. We find that a higher audit rate (i) reduces the size of the informal sector relative to the size of the formal sector, and (ii) has an ambiguous impact on unemployment and real wages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2001:8.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 15 Feb 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2001_008

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Tax evasion; underground economy; matching; bargaining; unemployment;

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References

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  1. Namkee Ahn & Sara La De Rica, 1997. "The underground economy in Spain: an alternative to unemployment?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 733-743.
  2. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
  3. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
  4. Jacques, Jean-François & Fugazza, Marco, 2004. "Labor market institutions, taxation and the underground economy," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1888, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. 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.
  6. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, . "Shadow Activity and Unemployment in a Depressed Labor Market," Working Papers 177, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2000. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0774, Econometric Society.
  8. Ann-Sofie Kolm & Birthe Larsen, 2002. "Social Norm, the Informal Sector, and Unemployment," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(3), pages 407-, August.
  9. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2001. "Moral Costs, The Informal Sector And Unemployment," Working Papers 01-2001, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  10. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 1999. "New Developments in Models of Search in the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1993. "Tax evasion and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 261-275, February.
  12. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Wen-Ya Chang & Ching-Chong Lai, 1996. "The Implication of Efficiency Wages On Tax Evasion and Tax Collections," Public Finance Review, , vol. 24(2), pages 163-172, April.
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