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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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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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Cited by:
  1. Crafts, Nicholas, 2011. "Economic History Matters," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 58, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Harrison, Mark, 2010. "Forging Success: Soviet Managers and Accounting Fraud, 1943 to 1962," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 34, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Liberini, Federica & Redoano, Michela & Proto, Eugenio, 2013. "Happy Voters," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 169, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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