IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Indeterminacy, underground activities and tax evasion

  • Busato, Francesco
  • Chiarini, Bruno
  • Marchetti, Enrico

This paper introduces underground activities and tax evasion into a one-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with aggregate external effects. The model presents a novel mechanism driving the self-fulfilling prophecies, which is characterized by well behaved (downward sloping) labor demand schedules. This mechanism differs from the customary one, and it is complementary to it. Compared to traditional labor market income, the income derived from underground labor activity is subject to a lower expected tax rate when considering both the probability of detection and the evasion penalty. During a belief-driven expansion, the household allocates more time to both traditional and underground labor supply. In equilibrium, this action serves to lower the effective labor tax rate faced by the household, thus providing stimulus to aggregate labor supply so as to make the initial expansion self-fulfilling. The mechanism here is akin to a "regressive tax"; the household's effective tax rate depends negatively on the level of total labor income. We argue that an underground sector, and the associated tax evasion, offer a good economic rationale for a regressive tax rate.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 831-844

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:3:p:831-844
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "On characterizing equilibria of economies with externalities and taxes as solutions to optimization problems," Working Papers 436, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Juan Carlos Conesa & Carlos Diaz Moreno & Jose Enrique Galdon Sanchez, 1997. "Underground economy and aggregate fluctuations," Working Papers in Economics 17, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  3. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  4. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E. A., 1996. "Indeterminacy and sector-specific externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 421-443, June.
  5. Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin J. Lansing, 2007. "Maintenance expenditures and indeterminacy under increasing returns to scale," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 3(2), pages 147-158.
  6. Hintermaier, Thomas, 2003. "On the minimum degree of returns to scale in sunspot models of the business cycle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 400-409, June.
  7. Roberto Perli, . "Indeterminacy, Home Production, and the Business Cycle: a Calibrated Analysis," CARESS Working Papres 97-4, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  8. Benhabib Jess & Farmer Roger E. A., 1994. "Indeterminacy and Increasing Returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 19-41, June.
  9. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  10. Weder, Mark, 2003. "On the plausibility of sunspot equilibria," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 65-81, March.
  11. Ghosal, Vivek, 1991. "Demand Uncertainty and the Capital-Labor Ratio: Evidence from the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 157-61, February.
  12. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, June.
  13. Campbell, John, 1994. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," Scholarly Articles 3196342, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini, 2004. "Market and underground activities in a two-sector dynamic equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 831-861, May.
  15. Bajada, Christopher, 1999. "Estimates of the Underground Economy in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(231), pages 369-84, December.
  16. Sbordone, Argia M, 1997. "Interpreting the Procyclical Productivity of Manufacturing Sectors: External Effects or Labor Hoarding?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 26-45, February.
  17. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World: Size, Causes, and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  18. 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.
  19. Bennett, Rosalind L. & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2000. "Indeterminacy with Non-separable Utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 118-143, July.
  20. Patrick-Antoine Pintus, 2009. "Local Determinacy with Non-separable Utility," Working Papers halshs-00409585, HAL.
  21. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 1284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Capacity Utilization under Increasing Returns to Scale," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 7-36, July.
  23. Boldrin, Michele & Rustichini, Aldo, 1994. "Growth and Indeterminacy in Dynamic Models with Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 323-42, March.
  24. King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I & Rebelo, Sergio T, 2002. "Production, Growth and Business Cycles: Technical Appendix," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 87-116, October.
  25. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Miguel Jimenez & Domenico Marchetti, 2002. "Interpreting the procyclical productivity of manufacturing sectors: can we really rule out external effects?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(7), pages 805-817.
  27. Patrick Pintus, 2006. "Indeterminacy with almost constant returns to scale: capital-labor substitution matters," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 633-649, 08.
  28. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  29. Nishimura, Kazuo & Venditti, Alain, 2007. "Indeterminacy in discrete-time infinite-horizon models with non-linear utility and endogenous labor," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 446-476, April.
  30. Teresa Lloyd-Braga & Carine Nourry & Alain Venditti, 2006. "Indeterminacy with small externalities: The role of non-separable preferences," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 2(3-4), pages 217-239.
  31. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1998. "Indeterminacy and Stabilization Policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 481-490, October.
  32. Farmer Roger E. A. & Guo Jang-Ting, 1994. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 42-72, June.
  33. Gordon, James P. P., 1989. "Individual morality and reputation costs as deterrents to tax evasion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 797-805, April.
  34. Cho, J-O. & Cooley, T.F., 1988. "Employment And Hours Over The Business Cycle," Papers 88-03, Rochester, Business - General.
  35. António Afonso, 2001. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy in the EU-15," Working Papers Department of Economics 2001/07, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  36. Dhami, Sanjit & al-Nowaihi, Ali, 2007. "Why do people pay taxes? Prospect theory versus expected utility theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 171-192, September.
  37. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:3:p:831-844. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.