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Pollution, shadow economy and corruption: Theory and evidence

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  • Biswas, Amit K.
  • Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza
  • Thum, Marcel

Abstract

We study how the shadow economy affects pollution and how this effect depends on corruption levels in public administration. Production in the shadow economy allows firms to avoid environmental regulation policies; a large informal sector may be accompanied by higher pollution levels. Our theoretical model predicts that controlling the levels of corruption can limit the effect of the shadow economy on pollution. We use panel data covering the period from 1999 to 2005 in more than 100 countries to test this theoretical prediction. Our estimates confirm that the relationship between the shadow economy and the levels of pollution are dependent on the levels of corruption. Our results hold when we control for the effects of other determinants of pollution, time varying common shocks, country-fixed effects and various additional covariates.

Suggested Citation

  • Biswas, Amit K. & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Thum, Marcel, 2012. "Pollution, shadow economy and corruption: Theory and evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 114-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:75:y:2012:i:c:p:114-125
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.01.007
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental pollution; Shadow economy; Corruption; Panel data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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