International Comparisons of Household Saving Rates and Hidden Income
AbstractIn this paper, we argue that shadow activities and different levels of marketization of household production systematically distort international comparisons of aggregate gross household saving rates (HSRs): Higher shares of hidden income increase observed HSRs. Panel data for 18 (24) OECD-countries covering a period of a decade show that gross HSRs are positively related to the degree of corruption (used as a proxy for the propensity to shift economic activities into the shadow) and to the share of income from property and self employment. At the same time, gross HSRs are negatively related to the female employment rate, the ratio of indirect taxes to direct taxes, and to the tax wedge. One plausible story behind these phenomena might be that unobserved consumption and wages in the shadow labor market induce an upward bias in observed HSRs and profit shares, while the price level effects of a higher share of indirect taxes and a ‘welfare state’ effect lower observed HSRs.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number wuwp148.
Date of creation: Jan 2013
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National Accounts; Saving Rate; Hidden Income; Shadow Economy; Corruption; Dynamic Panels;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-02-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-IUE-2013-02-03 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2013-02-03 (Macroeconomics)
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