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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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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. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Secrecy, Fear and Transaction Costs: The Business of Soviet Forced Labour in the Early Cold War," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 47, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Harrison, Mark, 2013. "Accounting for Secrets," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 1015, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Accounting for Secrets," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 59, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Harrison, Mark, 2011. "Secrecy, Fear and Transaction Costs: The Business of Soviet Forced Labour in the Early Cold War," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 47, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Harrison, Mark & ZaksauskienÄ—, Inga, 2013. "Counter-Intelligence in a Command Economy," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 170, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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