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Problems measuring the underground economy in transition


  • Jan Hanousek
  • Filip Palda


An easy and popular method for measuring the size of the underground economy is to use macro data such as money demand or electricity demand to infer what the legitimate economy needs, and then to attribute the remaining consumption to the underground economy. Such inferences rely on the stability of parameters of the money demand and electricity demand equations, or at very least on knowledge of how these parameters are changing. We argue that the pace of change of these parameters is too variable in transition economies for the above methods of estimating the size of the underground economy to be applicable. We make our point by using Czech Republic and other transition country data from the financial and electricity sectors. Copyright (c) 2006 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2006 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development..

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  • Jan Hanousek & Filip Palda, 2006. "Problems measuring the underground economy in transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(4), pages 707-718, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:14:y:2006:i:4:p:707-718

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Suma S. Athreye, 2005. "The Indian software industry and its evolving service capability," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 393-418, June.
    2. Caprio, Gerard & Honohan, Patrick, 2001. "Finance for Growth: Policy Choices in a Volatile World," MPRA Paper 9929, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matsaganis, Manos & Benedek, Dóra & Flevotomou, Maria & Lelkes, Orsolya & Mantovani, Daniela & Nienadowska, Sylwia, 2010. "Distributional implications of income tax evasion in Greece, Hungary and Italy," MPRA Paper 21465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dóra Benedek & Orsolya Lelkes, 2011. "The Distributional Implications of Income Under‐Reporting in Hungary," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 32(4), pages 539-560, December.
    3. Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2010. "Challenging the popular wisdom. New estimates of the unobserved economy," Working Papers 184, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2010.
    4. Tomas Lichard & Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2012. "Measuring the Shadow Economy: Endogenous Switching Regression with Unobserved Separation," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 438, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    5. Jan Hanousek & Filip Palda, 2008. "Tax Evasion Dynamics in the Czech Republic: First Evidence of an Evasional Kuznets Curve," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp360, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    6. 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.
    7. Manos Matsaganis & Maria Flevotomou, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Tax Evasion in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 31, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    8. Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2011. "Institutions, policies and economic development. What are the causes of the shadow economy?," Working Papers 206, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2011.
    9. Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2009. "Income Tax Flattening: Does It Help to Reduce the Shadow Economy?," IZA Discussion Papers 4223, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Matsaganis, Manos & Flevotomou, Maria, 2010. "Distributional implications of tax evasion in Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 26074, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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