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The Effects of Flat Tax on Inequality and Informal Employment: The Case of Albania

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  • Isilda Mara
  • Edlira Narazani

Abstract

In this study we perform the first econometric attempt to estimate the trade-off between equity and efficiency of tax systems counting for the tax evasion option in a developing country such as Albania. Using the Albanian Living Srandard Measurement Survey (2005, 2008) we estimate a micro-econometric model of labour supply and incorporate the option of participation in regular and irregular labour markets. Swapping the tax rules of 2005 with 2008, we find that the flat tax has not contributed in the reduction of labour informality but rather the increases in regular wages have played an important role in convincing the individuals to move to regular market. Furthermore, we find that controls and audits are more efficient than fines in inducing people to switch from the informal to formal labour market. A similar effect is achieved also when “honest” individuals are endowed with a universal benefit. In distributional terms, calculations of Gini inequality index and Sen’s welfare index demonstrate that the only scenario that would improve welfare index is a progressive tax rule as before 2007. Finally, these results suggest that a kind of progressivity should be reinserted to the taxation system without affecting the attractiveness of the simplicity exercised by the flat tax.

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File URL: http://www.balkan-observatory.net/wp/2011%2003%20wiiw%20bo%20wp%20094.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw in its series wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers with number 094.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Publication status: Published as The wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Paper, March 2011
Handle: RePEc:wii:bpaper:bowp:094

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  1. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, The Earned Income Tax Credit, And The Labor Supply Of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114, August.
  2. Shima, Isilda, 2004. "The shadow economy in Norway: Demand for currency approach," Memorandum 10/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Goerke, Laszlo, 2004. "Tax evasion, tax progression, and efficiency wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 35-42, January.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  5. Agnar Sandmo, 2002. "Efficient Environmental Policy with Imperfect Compliance," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 85-103, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2003. "Does Tax Evation Affect Unemployment and Educational Choice?," Working Paper Series 2003:22, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Roed, Knut & Strom, Steinar, 2002. " Progressive Taxes and the Labour Market: Is the Trade-Off between Equality and Efficiency Inevitable?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 77-110, February.
  9. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2005. "A microeconometric model for analysing efficiency and distributional effects of tax reforms: a review of results for Italy and Norwayƒx," Public Economics 0501002, EconWPA.
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