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Shadow Economies in highly developed OECD countries: What are the driving forces?

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  • Andreas Buehn
  • Friedrich Schneider

Abstract

The main focus of this paper lies on the “driving forces” of the development and size of the shadow economy in 39 highly developed OECD countries. The most influential factors on the shadow economy are tax policies and state regulation, which, if rising, increase the shadow economy, though other, economic factors like unemployment are important, too. Specifically, it is shown that the main driving forces of the size and development of the shadow economy are unemployment, self-employment and the tax burden, which impact the shadow economies in these 30 OECD countries to a different degree. Between 1999 and 2010 unemployment and self-employment have on average the largest relative impact (14.6%), followed by tax morale (14.5%), GDP growth (14.3%), business freedom (14.2%) and indirect taxes (14.1%).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2013-17.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2013_17

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Keywords: Shadow economy; tax morale; tax pressure; state regulation; undeclared work;

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  1. Schneider, Friedrich, 2005. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we really know?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 598-642, September.
  2. Bhattacharyya, Dilip K, 1999. "On the Economic Rationale of Estimating the Hidden Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F348-59, June.
  3. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2007. "The Impact of Tax Morale and Institutional Quality on the Shadow Economy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  4. Andreas Buehn & Friedrich Schneider, 2012. "Shadow economies around the world: novel insights, accepted knowledge, and new estimates," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 139-171, February.
  5. Enrico Marcelli, 2004. "Unauthorized Mexican Immigration, Day Labour and other Lower-wage Informal Employment in California," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 1-13.
  6. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Andreas Buehn & Alexander Karmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "Shadow Economy and Do-it-Yourself Activities: The German Case," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(4), pages 701-722, December.
  8. Colin Williams & Jan Windebank, 2001. "Reconceptualising paid informal exchange: some lessons from English cities," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(1), pages 121-140, January.
  9. Axel Dreher & Christos Kotsogiannis & Steve McCorriston, 2005. "How do Institutions Affect Corruption and the Shadow Economy?," Public Economics 0502012, EconWPA, revised 24 Feb 2005.
  10. Désirée Teobaldelli, 2011. "Federalism and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 269-289, March.
  11. Andreas Buehn & Stefan Eichler, 2009. "Smuggling Illegal versus Legal Goods across the U.S.-Mexico Border: A Structural Equations Model Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 328-350, October.
  12. Tanzi, Vito, 1999. "Uses and Abuses of Estimates of the Underground Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F338-47, June.
  13. Giles, David E A, 1999. "Measuring the Hidden Economy: Implications for Econometric Modelling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F370-80, June.
  14. Egle Tafenau & Helmut Herwartz & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Regional Estimates of the Shadow Economy in Europe," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 629-636.
  15. Friedrich Schneider & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2012. "Beyond the Veil of Ignorance: The Influence of Direct Democracy on the Shadow Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3749, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Thomas, Jim, 1999. "Quantifying the Black Economy: 'Measurement without Theory' Yet Again?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F381-89, June.
  17. David KUCERA & Leanne RONCOLATO, 2008. "Informal employment: Two contested policy issues," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 147(4), pages 321-348, December.
  18. 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.
  19. Roberto Dell´Anno, 2007. "The shadow economy in Portugal: An analysis with the MIMIC approach," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 253-277, November.
  20. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  21. Schneider Friedrich, 2010. "The Influence of Public Institutions on the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Investigation for OECD Countries," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 441-468, December.
  22. 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.
  23. Kirchler,Erich, 2007. "The Economic Psychology of Tax Behaviour," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521876742, April.
  24. Andreas Buehn, 2012. "The Shadow Economy in G erman Regions: An Empirical Assessment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(3), pages 275-290, 08.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. What drives the size of the shadow economy?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-11-07 15:17:00
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Cited by:
  1. Schneider, Friedrich, 2014. "The Shadow Economy and Shadow Labor Force: A Survey of Recent Developments," IZA Discussion Papers 8278, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andreas Buehn & Friedrich Schneider, 2013. "Estimating the Size of the Shadow Economy: Methods, Problems and Open Questions," Economics working papers 2013-20, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Andreas Bühn & Friedrich Schneider, 2012. "Size and Development of Tax Evasion in 38 OECD Countries: What do we (not) know?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4004, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Friedrich Schneider, 2013. "Size and Progression of the Shadow Economies of Turkey and Other OECD Countries from 2003 to 2013; Some New Facts," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 83-116, May.
  5. Ferré Carracedo, Montserrat & García Fortuny, Judit & Manzano, Carolina, 2013. "The Conservativeness of the Central Bank when Institutional Quality is Poor," Working Papers 2072/222198, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  6. Emilio Colombo & Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2013. "Shadow economies at times of banking crises: empirics and theory," Working Papers 234, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.

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