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On the asymmetric relationship between the size of the underground economy and the change in effective tax rate in Taiwan


  • Wang, David Han-Min
  • Yu, Tiffany Hui-Kuang
  • Hu, Heng-Chang


This paper examines the asymmetric response of the underground economy (UE) in Taiwan to an effective tax rate change. The UE size in Taiwan from 1962 to 2003 is estimated using a cash deposit ratio (CDR) approach and a currency demand approach. The impact of an increase in the effective tax rate on UE is greater than that of a decrease. In addition, the impact on the UE is stronger for direct than for indirect taxes. The difference between upward and downward movements is significant for both indirect and direct taxes in the CDR approach. However, the difference is only significant for indirect taxes in the currency demand approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, David Han-Min & Yu, Tiffany Hui-Kuang & Hu, Heng-Chang, 2012. "On the asymmetric relationship between the size of the underground economy and the change in effective tax rate in Taiwan," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 340-343.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:1:p:340-343 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.04.041

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giles, David E A & Werkneh, Gugsa T & Johnson, Betty J, 2001. "Asymmetric Responses of the Underground Economy to Tax Changes: Evidence from New Zealand Data," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(237), pages 148-159, June.
    2. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
    3. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-1072, June.
    4. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Dominik Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2002. "Hiding in the Shadows; The Growth of the Underground Economy," IMF Economic Issues 30, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-392, May.
    7. Christopoulos, Dimitris K., 2003. "Does underground economy respond symmetrically to tax changes? Evidence from Greece," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 563-570, May.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anbarci, Nejat & Gomis-Porqueras, Pedro & Marcus, Pivato, 2012. "Formal and informal markets: A strategic and evolutionary perspective," MPRA Paper 42513, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Underground economy; Effective tax rate; Unit root test;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements


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