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Workers' Tax Evasion in Italy

  • Carlo V Fiorio

    ()

    (University of Milan and Econpubblica, Bocconi University)

  • Francesco D'Amuri

    ()

    (University of Pavia, Econpubblica, Bocconi University)

We apply a direct method to estimate tax evasion in Italy, assuming that tax evaders might consider declaring a closer-to-true income in an anonymous interview. The methodology is applied to employed and self-employed taxpayers, combining the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) by the Bank of Italy and a large random sample of tax forms by SeCIT (Tax auditing office - Ministry of Finance), both referred to incomes received in 2000. Paying particular attention to the post-stratification of the data, we find that tax evasion is consistently higher for self-employment income than for employment income: the difference ranges from about 7% in lower deciles to 27% around the mode. This analysis shows that a relevant level of tax evasion arises also at low levels of employment income, although some under-sampling and misreporting problems need to be considered. An evaluation of the redistribution and incidence effects of tax evasion among workers is provided.

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Article provided by GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University in its journal Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia.

Volume (Year): 64 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (November)
Pages: 247-270

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Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v64_n2-3_p247-270
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  1. Kakwani, Nanok C, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity: An International Comparison," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(345), pages 71-80, March.
  2. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  3. Cowell, Frank A, 1985. "The Economic Analysis of Tax Evasion," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 163-93, September.
  4. Roberta Zizza, 2002. "Metodologie di stima dell�economia sommersa: un�applicazione al caso italiano," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 463, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Cowell, Frank A, 1980. "On the Structure of Additive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 521-31, April.
  6. Massimo Bordignon & Alberto Zanardi, 1997. "Tax Evasion in Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 56(3-4), pages 169-210, December.
  7. Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "The Increase of the size of the shadow economy of 18 OECD countries: Some preliminary explanations," Economics working papers 2000-08, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  8. Andrea Brandolini, 1999. "The Distribution of Personal Income in Post-War Italy: Source Description, Data Quality, and the Time Pattern of Income Inequality," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 58(2), pages 183-239, September.
  9. Giovanni D'Alessio & Ivan Faiella, 2002. "Non-response behaviour in the Bank of Italy�s Survey of Household Income and Wealth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 462, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Pissarides, Christopher A. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "An expenditure-based estimate of Britain's black economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-32, June.
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