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The Underground Economy in the Late 1990s: Evading Taxes, or Evading Competition?

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  • Karlinger, Liliane

Abstract

Summary This paper studies the driving forces behind the considerable expansion of the underground economy during the late 1990s. I propose a novel explanation for this phenomenon: the sharp increase in market competition worldwide, which reduces prices and profits and drives firms into the shadow economy. Empirical evidence from a panel covering 45 countries from 1995 to 2000 shows that increased competition is indeed correlated with an expansion of the underground economy. The effect is strongest in low-tax, high-corruption countries that do not provide the public services which make it worthwhile for firms to remain official despite growing competitive pressure.

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  • Karlinger, Liliane, 2009. "The Underground Economy in the Late 1990s: Evading Taxes, or Evading Competition?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1600-1611, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:37:y:2009:i:10:p:1600-1611
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Baumann Florian & Friehe Tim, 2016. "Competitive Pressure and Corporate Crime," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 647-687, April.
    2. Mazhar, Ummad & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2017. "Taxing the unobservable: The impact of the shadow economy on inflation and taxation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 89-103.
    3. Dr. Selami Guney, 2011. "The Role Of Accounting And Certified Public Accountants In The Prevention Of The Informal Economy In Turkey," Far East Journal of Psychology and Business, Far East Research Centre, vol. 4(3), pages 27-44, July.
    4. Gokalp, Omer N. & Lee, Seung-Hyun & Peng, Mike W., 2017. "Competition and corporate tax evasion: An institution-based view," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 258-269.
    5. Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2015. "Shadow economy: Does it matter for money velocity?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 839-858, November.
    6. González-Fernández, Marcos & González-Velasco, Carmen, 2015. "Analysis of the shadow economy in the Spanish regions," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1049-1064.
    7. Liliane Karlinger, 2014. "The “Dark Side” of Deregulation: How Competition Affects the Size of the Shadow Economy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(2), pages 293-321, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    shadow economy competition corruption OECD Asia Eastern Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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