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Accounting for Secrets

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  • Harrison, Mark

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick ; CAGE)

Abstract

The Soviet dictatorship used secrecy to shield its processes from external scrutiny. A system of accounting for classified documentation assured the protection of secrets. The associated procedures resemble a turnover tax applied to government transactions. There is evidence of both compliance and evasion. The burden of secrecy was multiplied because the system was also secret and so had to account for itself. Unique documentation of a small regional bureaucracy, the Lithuania KGB, is exploited to yield an estimate of the burden. Measured against available benchmarks, the burden looks surprisingly heavy. JEL classification: Accounting ; Bureaucracy ; Dictatorship ; Lithuania ; Secrecy ; Soviet Union ; Transaction Costs. JEL codes: K42 ; L14 ; M48 ; N44 ;P26

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2013/twerp_1015_harrison.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 1015.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1015

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Accounting for Secrets," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 59, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
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Cited by:
  1. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Accounting for Secrets," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 59, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. repec:cge:warwcg:58 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Harrison, Mark & ZaksauskienÄ—, Inga, 2013. "Counter-Intelligence in a Command Economy," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 170, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. repec:cge:warwcg:34 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Secrecy, Fear and Transaction Costs: The Business of Soviet Forced Labour in the Early Cold War," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 47, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  6. repec:cge:warwcg:169 is not listed on IDEAS

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