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How do institutions affect corruption and the shadow economy?

  • Axel Dreher


  • Christos Kotsogiannis


  • Steve McCorriston


This paper analyzes a simple model that captures the relationship between institutional quality, the shadow economy and corruption. It shows that an improvement in institutional quality reduces the shadow economy and a?ects the corruption market. The exact relationship between corruption and institutional quality is, however, ambiguous and depends on the relative e?ectiveness of the institutional quality in the shadow and corruption markets. The predictions of the model are empirically tested—by means of Structural Equation Modelling that treats the shadow economy and the corruption market as latent variables—using data from OECD countries. The results show that an improvement in institutional quality reduces the shadow economy directly and corruption both directly and indirectly (through its e?ect on the shadow market).

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Article provided by Springer & International Institute of Public Finance in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 773-796

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:16:y:2009:i:6:p:773-796
DOI: 10.1007/s10797-008-9089-5
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  5. Hindriks, J. & Keen, M. & Muthoo, A., 1998. "Corruption, Extortion and Evasion," Discussion Papers 9809, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  6. Schneider, Friedrich, 1994. "Can the Shadow Economy Be Reduced through Major Tax Reforms? An Empirical Investigation for Austria," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 137-52.
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  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.
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  28. Tanzi, Vito, 1999. "Uses and Abuses of Estimates of the Underground Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F338-47, June.
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