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A note on measuring the unofficial economy in the former Soviet Republics -super-1


  • Michael Alexeev
  • William Pyle


This note argues that the most commonly used estimates of the size of the unofficial economies in the former Soviet republics are flawed. Most important, they are based on calculations that disregard the variation in unofficial economic activity across space in the pre-transition Soviet Union. In addition, these estimates appear to understate the size of the unofficial economies in these countries. We propose alternative estimates and find that they are more strongly related to the institutional factors commonly used to explain the size of the unofficial sector. Our estimates also show that the size of a country's pre-transition unofficial economy is an important predictor of its size during the transition. This suggests that the size of the unofficial economy is to a large extent a historical phenomenon only partly determined by contemporary institutional factors. Copyright (c)The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2003.

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  • Michael Alexeev & William Pyle, 2003. "A note on measuring the unofficial economy in the former Soviet Republics -super-1," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(1), pages 153-175, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:11:y:2003-03:i:1:p:153-175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Markandya, A., 1997. "Employment and Environmental Protection: The Tradeoffs in an Economy in Transition," Papers 595, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
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    Cited by:

    1. Friedrich Schneider & Robert Klinglmair, 2004. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we know?," Economics working papers 2004-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. World Bank, 2014. "Albania Public Finance Review : Part 1. Toward a Sustainable Fiscal Policy for Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17279, The World Bank.
    3. González-Fernández, Marcos & González-Velasco, Carmen, 2015. "Analysis of the shadow economy in the Spanish regions," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1049-1064.
    4. Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: What Do We Really Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Foster, Neil & Stehrer, Robert, 2007. "Modeling transformation in CEECs using smooth transitions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-86, March.
    6. Friedrich Schneider & Andreas Buehn & Claudio E. Montenegro, 2011. "Shadow Economies All Over the World: New Estimates for 162 Countries from 1999 to 2007," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Alexander Libman & Janis N. Kluge, 2017. "Sticks or Carrots? Comparing Effectiveness of Government Shadow Economy Policies in Russia," Working Papers 364, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    8. Braguinsky, Serguey & Mityakov, Sergey, 2015. "Foreign corporations and the culture of transparency: Evidence from Russian administrative data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 139-164.
    9. Jens K. Perret, 2016. "A Spatial Knowledge Production Function Approach for the Regions of the Russian Federation," EIIW Discussion paper disbei217, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    10. Byung-Yeon Kim & Youngho Kang, 2009. "The informal economy and the growth of small enterprises in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(2), pages 351-376, April.
    11. Suslov, N. & Mel'tenisova, E., 2015. "Analysis of Energy Price's Impact on Shadow Economies Around the World," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 12-43.
    12. Schneider, Friedrich, 2005. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we really know?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 598-642, September.
    13. Simon COMMANDER & Natalia ISACHENKOVA & Yulia RODIONOVA, 2013. "Informal employment dynamics in Ukraine: An analytical model of informality in transition economies," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 152(3-4), pages 445-467, December.
    14. Andreas Buehn & Alexander Karmann, 2011. "The Shadow Economy and Do-it-Yourself Activities: What Do We Know?," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Feige, Edgar L. & Urban, Ivica, 2008. "Measuring underground (unobserved, non-observed, unrecorded) economies in transition countries: Can we trust GDP?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 287-306, June.
    16. Stavros Katsios, 2006. "The Shadow Economy and Corruption in Greece," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 4(1), pages 61-80.
    17. International Monetary Fund, 2006. "Republic of Lithuania; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 06/163, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Elina BENEA-POPUSOI, 2015. "From Rational To Spiritual In The Economic Thought," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 16, pages 157-165, December.

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