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Macroeconomic Implications of the Underground Sector: Challenging the Double Business Cycle Approach

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  • Catalina Granda-Carvajal

    (University of Connecticut and Universidad de Antioquia)

Abstract

Within the literature on business cycles featuring shadow economic activities, there is an approach based on the arguable premise that fluctuations in the official and unofficial sectors are negatively correlated. The present paper develops a real business cycle model that does not impose such an assumption. To do so, preferences are characterized so that regular and irregular labor are additively separable. Furthermore, leisure time is spent on both irregular work effort and non-market activities. Simulations are conducted to examine the performance of the model economy and to compare the resulting cyclical features with related empirical findings. In addition, computational experiments allow to analyze the effects of different tax structures, enforcement rates and tastes for irregular labor on the volatility and comovements of aggregate variables. These simulations and experiments overall offer a more comprehensive view of the cyclical implications of the shadow economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2011-14.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2011-14

Note: I am greatly indebted to my adviser, Christian Zimmermann, for his valuable comments and support. Also, I would like to thank seminar participants at the University of Connecticut. Any errors are entirely mine.
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
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Keywords: Underground economy; shadow economy; business cycles; dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models;

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  1. Graversen, Ebbe Krogh & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Work in the Underground Sector," CLS Working Papers 01-2, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
  2. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z., 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time Over the Business Cycles," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9104, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
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  6. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Diaz-Moreno, Carlos & Galdon-Sanchez, Jose Enrique, 2002. "Explaining cross-country differences in participation rates and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 333-345, February.
  7. Catalina Granda-Carvajal, 2010. "The Unofficial Economy and the Business Cycle: A Test for Theories," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 573-586.
  8. Giles, David E A, 1997. "Testing for Asymmetry in the Measured and Underground Business Cycles in New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 73(222), pages 225-32, September.
  9. repec:att:wimass:9610 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Jørgensen, Øystein & Ognedal, Tone & Strøm, Steinar, 2005. "Labor supply when tax evasion is an option," Memorandum 06/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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  14. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
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  16. Cho, Jang-Ok & Cooley, Thomas F., 1994. "Employment and hours over the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 411-432, March.
  17. Gisele Ferreira-Tiryaki, 2008. "The informal economy and business cycles," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 91-117, May.
  18. Ellen McGrattan & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1995. "An equilibrium model of the business cycle with household production and fiscal policy," Staff Report 191, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Lacroix, Guy & Fortin, Bernard, 1992. "Utility-Based Estimation of Labour Supply Functions in the Regular and Irregular Sectors," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1407-22, November.
  20. Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini, 2004. "Market and underground activities in a two-sector dynamic equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 831-861, May.
  21. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 275-363.
  22. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  23. Christopher Bajada, 2003. "Business Cycle Properties of the Legitimate and Underground Economy in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(247), pages 397-411, December.
  24. 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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