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Income hiding and informal redistribution: A lab-in-the-field experiment in Senegal

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  • Boltz, Marie
  • Marazyan, Karine
  • Villar, Paola

Abstract

We estimate the hidden cost of social obligations to redistribute exploiting data from a controlled setting in urban Senegal, which combines lab-in-the-field measures and out-of-lab follow-up data. We estimate a social tax of about 9 percent. When given the opportunity to get hidden income, individuals decrease by 26 percent the share of gains they transfer to kin — mostly outside the household — and increase health and personal expenses. We expand on prior literature by both identifying the individual cost of informal redistribution and then relating it to postexperiment resource-allocation decisions, and by disentangling intra- and interhousehold redistributive pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Boltz, Marie & Marazyan, Karine & Villar, Paola, 2019. "Income hiding and informal redistribution: A lab-in-the-field experiment in Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 78-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:137:y:2019:i:c:p:78-92
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.11.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Marie Boltz & Isabelle Chort, 2019. "The Risk of Polygamy and Wives’ Saving Behavior," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 33(1), pages 209-230.
    2. Farah Said, 2016. "Access to Finance and Agency: An Overview of the Constraints to Female-Run Enterprises," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 21(Special E), pages 331-349, September.
    3. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2018. "Evolutionary Models of Preference Formation," TSE Working Papers 18-955, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Di Falco, Salvatore & Feri, Francesco & Pin, Paolo & Vollenweider, Xavier, 2018. "Ties that bind: Network redistributive pressure and economic decisions in village economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 123-131.
    5. Marie Boltz & Isabelle Chort, 2015. "The Risk of Polygamy and Wives Saving Behavior," Working Papers halshs-01183453, HAL.
    6. Hanna Fromell & Daniele Nosenzo & Trudy Owens & Fabio Tufano, 2019. "One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Plurality of Social Norms and Saving Behavior in Kenya," Discussion Papers 2019-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    7. Jean-Marie Baland & Roberta Ziparo, 2017. "Intra-household bargaining in poor countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 108, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Bulte, Erwin H. & Lensink, Robert & Winkel, Anne B., 2018. "The impact of a gender and business training on income hiding: An experimental study in Vietnam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 241-259.
    9. Alby, Philippe & Auriol, Emmanuelle & Nguimkeu, Pierre, 2018. "Does Social Pressure Hinder Entrepreneurship in Africa? The Forced Mutual Help Hypothesis," TSE Working Papers 18-956, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. Nathan Fiala, 2017. "Business is Tough, but Family is Worse: Household Bargaining and Investment in Microenterprises in Uganda," Working papers 2017-05, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income observability; Informal redistribution; Extended families; Resource allocation decisions; Lab-in-the-field experiment; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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