IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmac/v2y2010i4p195-221.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Value-Added Taxes, Chain Effects, and Informality

Author

Listed:
  • Áureo de Paula
  • Jose A. Scheinkman

Abstract

We present an equilibrium model of tax avoidance and test its implications using a survey of firms in Brazil. In the model, the credit method used to collect value-added tax (VAT) creates informality chains-clients or suppliers of informal firms are more likely to be informal. An increase in enforcement in a production stage increases formality downstream and upstream. Various empirical measures of formality of suppliers and buyers, and of enforcement downstream and upstream, are positively correlated with formality. When the VAT is applied in a single stage of production at a rate estimated by the authorities, these chain effects disappear. (JEL H25, H26, L14, L21, O14, O17)

Suggested Citation

  • Áureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2010. "Value-Added Taxes, Chain Effects, and Informality," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 195-221, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:195-221
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.4.195
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.2.4.195
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/data/2008-0073_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/app/2008-0073_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Straub, Stéphane, 2005. "Informal sector: The credit market channel," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 299-321, December.
    2. Emran, M. Shahe & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2005. "On selective indirect tax reform in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 599-623, April.
    3. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
    4. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
    5. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, January.
    6. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of Regulation, Informal Labor and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1759, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. ten Raa,Thijs, 2006. "The Economics of Input-Output Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521602679, December.
    8. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of labor regulation, informal labor, and firm performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3756, The World Bank.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo.
    10. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
    11. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
    13. Mr. Alan A. Tait, 1991. "Value-Added Tax: Administrative and Policy Issues," IMF Occasional Papers 1991/011, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-959, July.
    15. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
    16. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
    17. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    18. Dabla-Norris, Era & Gradstein, Mark & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2008. "What causes firms to hide output? The determinants of informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 1-27, February.
    19. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    20. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
    21. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Maloney, William F. & Montes-Rojas, Gabriel V., 2009. "Does Formality Improve Micro-Firm Performance? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Brazilian SIMPLES Program," IZA Discussion Papers 4531, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2009. "“Value Added Taxes, Chain Effects and Informality†, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-041, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 09 Nov 2009.
    2. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-018, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 21 May 2008.
    3. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Áureo De Paula & José A. Scheinkman, 2011. "The Informal Sector: An Equilibrium Model And Some Empirical Evidence From Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57, pages 8-26, May.
    5. Giovanna Vallanti & Giuseppina Gianfreda, 2021. "Informality, regulation and productivity: do small firms escape EPL through shadow employment?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 1383-1412, October.
    6. Russo Francesco Flaviano, 2018. "Informality: the Doorstep of the Legal System," Open Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 49-70, June.
    7. Adam, Antonis & Kammas, Pantelis, 2012. "(Tax evasion) power to the people: does "early democratization" increase the size of the informal sector?," MPRA Paper 43343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Prado, Mauricio, 2011. "Government policy in the formal and informal sectors," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1120-1136.
    9. Zoë Kuehn, 2014. "Tax Rates, Governance, And The Informal Economy In High-Income Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 405-430, January.
    10. Arbex, Marcelo & Galvao, Antonio F. & Gomes, Fábio Augusto Reis, 2010. "Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education and Informal Activities," Insper Working Papers wpe_216, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    11. Gatti, Roberta & Honorati, Maddalena, 2007. "Informality among Formal Firms: Firm-level, Cross-country Evidence on Tax Compliance and Access to Credit," CEPR Discussion Papers 6597, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William F., 2010. "Comparative analysis of labor market dynamics using Markov processes: An application to informality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 621-631, August.
    13. Dabla-Norris, Era & Gradstein, Mark & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2008. "What causes firms to hide output? The determinants of informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 1-27, February.
    14. Nicoletta Batini & Young-Bae Kim & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti, 2009. "Informal Labour and Credit Markets: A Survey," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0609, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    15. Blagica Petreski & Marjan Petreski, 2022. "Unregistered micro-performers of business activity in North Macedonia: Analysis with recommendations for a policy action," Finance Think Policy Studies 2022-07/43, Finance Think - Economic Research and Policy Institute.
    16. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 275-363.
    17. Carillo, Maria Rosaria & Pugno, Maurizio, 2004. "The underground economy and underdevelopment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 257-279, September.
    18. Aziz N. Berdiev & James W. Saunoris & Friedrich Schneider, 2018. "Give Me Liberty, or I Will Produce Underground: Effects of Economic Freedom on the Shadow Economy," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(2), pages 537-562, October.
    19. Florencia Verónica Pedroni & Anahí Briozzo & Gabriela Pesce, 2022. "Determinants of unreported income in Latin American companies: a business perspective," International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 16(1), pages 58-83.
    20. Amin, Mohammad & Islam, Asif, 2015. "Are Large Informal Firms More Productive than the Small Informal Firms? Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 374-385.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Value-Added Taxes, Chain Effects, and Informality (AEJ:MA 2010) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:195-221. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.