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Ethnic Divisions and the Size of the Informal Sector

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  • David Dreyer Lassen

    (Economic Policy Research Unit, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between ethnic fragmentation and the size of the informal economy. Recent experimental and empirical research links, in turn, ethnicity and trust, and trust and tax compliance. In addition, recent empirical studies have identified an unwillingness to contribute to public goods benefiting other ethnic groups. Combining these insights, we argue that increasing ethnic fractionalization decreases voluntary tax compliance, and present empirical evidence at the macro level in a cross-section of more than fifty countries, that more ethnically fragmented societies have significantly larger informal sectors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 03-01.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:03-01

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Keywords: informal sector; ethnic fragmentation; voluntary tax compliance;

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References

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  1. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  2. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Fjeldstad, Odd-helge & Semboja, Joseph, 2001. "Why People Pay Taxes: The Case of the Development Levy in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2059-2074, December.
  6. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  7. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2003. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Working papers 2003-49, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Mladovsky, Philipa & Mossialos, Elias, 2008. "A Conceptual Framework for Community-Based Health Insurance in Low-Income Countries: Social Capital and Economic Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 590-607, April.

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