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Taxes, Risk-Aversion, and the Size of the Underground Economy: A Nonparametric Analysis With New Zealand Data

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  • David E. A. Giles

    ()

  • Betty J. Johnson

    ()

Abstract

We use nonparametric regression analysis to investigate the relationship between the effective tax rate and the relative size of the underground economy, using New Zealand data. The theoretical underpinnings of such a relationship are established by extending some of the predictions of the recent model of Trandel and Snow (1999) to allow for the form of the available aggregate data. Time-series evidence indicates that these data are non-stationary and cointegrated, and this is taken into account in our estimation. The theoretical framework produces an ambiguous prediction regarding the sign of the relationship we are studying. However, our nonparametric empirical analysis produces a positive and "S-shaped" relationship, and this supports earlier empirical studies that imposed such functional forms. The estimated model is used to simulate the effects of hypothetical tax changes on the size of the New Zealand underground economy, and to draw policy conclusions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Victoria in its series Econometrics Working Papers with number 9910.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 11 Aug 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vic:vicewp:9910

Note: ISSN 1485-6441
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Web page: http://web.uvic.ca/econ
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Keywords: Tax evasion; underground economy; risk aversion; tax rates; nonparametric regression.;

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  1. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1980. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Working Papers 378, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Giles, David E A & Werkneh, Gugsa T & Johnson, Betty J, 2001. "Asymmetric Responses of the Underground Economy to Tax Changes: Evidence from New Zealand Data," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(237), pages 148-59, June.
  3. Pencavel, John H., 1979. "A note on income tax evasion, labor supply, and nonlinear tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 115-124, August.
  4. Linda F. DeBenedictis, & David E. A. Giles, 1998. "Robust Specification Testing in Regression: The FRESET Test and Autocorrelated Disturbances," Econometrics Working Papers 9806, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  5. David E. A. Giles, & Patrick J. Caragata, 1999. "The Learning Path of the Hidden Economy: The Tax Burden and Tax Evasion in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9904, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  6. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Lai, Kon S, 1993. "Finite-Sample Sizes of Johansen's Likelihood Ration Tests for Conintegration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(3), pages 313-28, August.
  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.
  8. David E. A. Giles, 1999. "Modelling the Hidden Economy and the Tax-Gap in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9905, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  9. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501.
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  11. Dolado, Juan J & Jenkinson, Tim & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simon, 1990. " Cointegration and Unit Roots," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 249-73.
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  13. Patrick J. Caragata, & David E. A. Giles, 1998. "Simulating the Relationship Between the Hidden Economy and the Tax Level and Tax Mix in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9804, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
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  23. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-92, May.
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  25. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-72, August.
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  27. Leybourne, S J & McCabe, B P M, 1994. "A Simple Test for Cointegration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 56(1), pages 97-103, February.
  28. Schneider, Friedrich, 1994. "Can the Shadow Economy Be Reduced through Major Tax Reforms? An Empirical Investigation for Austria," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 137-52.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David E. A. Giles & Gugsa T. Werkneh & Betty J. Johnson, 1999. "Asymmetric Responses of the Underground Economy to Tax Changes: Evidence From New Zealand Data," Econometrics Working Papers 9911, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  2. Torosyan, Karine & Filer, Randall K., 2012. "Tax Reform in Georgia and the Size of the Shadow Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 6912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Lindsay M. Tedds & David E. A. Giles, 2000. "Modelling the Underground Economies in Canada and New Zealand: A Comparative Analysis," Econometrics Working Papers 0003, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  4. repec:idb:brikps:21978 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Trinh Le, 2007. "Does New Zealand have a household saving crisis?," Macroeconomics Working Papers 23081, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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