IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/pubcho/v157y2013i3p543-567.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The influence of direct democracy on the shadow economy

Author

Listed:
  • Désirée Teobaldelli
  • Friedrich Schneider

Abstract

We analyze, both theoretically and empirically, the influence of direct democratic institutions on the size and development of shadow economies. Our model suggests that, as the extent of direct democracy increases, implemented fiscal policies more nearly reflect the preferences of citizens and so reduce their incentives to operate in the informal sector. This theory implies a negative relationship between the extent of direct democracy and the size of the country’s shadow economy. We also theorize that direct democracy has a greater effect in reducing the informal sector when the former is at low or intermediate values and when the electoral system is characterized by a larger district magnitude. An empirical investigation of a sample of 57 democracies confirms our model’s predictions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Désirée Teobaldelli & Friedrich Schneider, 2013. "The influence of direct democracy on the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 543-567, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:157:y:2013:i:3:p:543-567
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0098-2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-013-0098-2
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11127-013-0098-2?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
    2. Sergio Galletta & Mario Jametti, 2012. "How to Tame two Leviathans? Revisiting the Effect of Direct Democracy on Local Public Expenditure," CESifo Working Paper Series 3982, CESifo.
    3. Gordon Tullock, 1971. "The paradox of revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 89-99, September.
    4. Borooah, Vani K. & Paldam, Martin, 2007. "Why is the world short of democracy?: A cross-country analysis of barriers to representative government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 582-604, September.
    5. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
    6. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    7. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
    8. Martin Paldam, 2001. "Corruption and Religion Adding to the Economic Model," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2‐3), pages 383-413, May.
    9. Roberto Dell’Anno & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2015. "Keeping both corruption and the shadow economy in check: the role of decentralization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(1), pages 1-40, February.
    10. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "Local autonomy, tax morale, and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 293-321, July.
    11. Hug, Simon & Spörri, Franziska, 2011. "Referendums, trust, and tax evasion," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 120-131, March.
    12. Nadia Fiorino & Roberto Ricciuti, 2007. "Determinants of Direct Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2035, CESifo.
    13. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
    14. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "The impact of voter initiatives on economic activity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 207-226, March.
    15. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. "Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-170, July.
    16. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2009. "The impact of tax morale and institutional quality on the shadow economy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-245, April.
    17. Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct Democracy: Politico-economic Lessons from Swiss Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 338-342, May.
    18. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    19. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    20. Martin Paldam & Erich Gundlach, 2008. "Two Views on Institutions and Development: The Grand Transition vs the Primacy of Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 65-100, February.
    21. Feld, Lars P & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2001. "Does Direct Democracy Reduce Public Debt? Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 347-370, December.
    22. Klarita Gërxhani, 2004. "The Informal Sector in Developed and Less Developed Countries: A Literature Survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(3_4), pages 267-300, September.
    23. Désirée Teobaldelli, 2011. "Federalism and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 269-289, March.
    24. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    25. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
    26. Matsusaka, John G & McCarty, Nolan M, 2001. "Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 413-448, October.
    27. 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.
    28. Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt, 2009. "The economic effects of direct democracy—a first global assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 431-461, September.
    29. Lipset, Seymour Martin, 1959. "Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy1," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 69-105, March.
    30. Feld, Lars P & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2002. "Tax Evasion and Voting: An Experimental Analysis," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 197-222.
    31. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
    32. Werner W. Pommerehne & Friedrich Schneider*, 1978. "Fiscal Illusion, Political Institutions, And Local Public Spending," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 381-408, August.
    33. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-1053, July.
    34. 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.
    35. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
    37. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
    38. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
    39. Morris Silver, 1974. "Political revolution and repression: An economic approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 63-71, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alexandru Theodoru DRONCA, 2016. "The influence of fiscal freedom, government effectiveness and human development index on tax evasion in the European Union," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(4(609), W), pages 5-18, Winter.
    2. Leandro Medina & Friedrich Schneider, 2017. "Shadow Economies around the World: New Results for 158 Countries over 1991-2015," CESifo Working Paper Series 6430, CESifo.
    3. Sausgruber, Rupert & Sonntag, Axel & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2021. "Disincentives from redistribution: evidence on a dividend of democracy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    4. Alexander Libman & Janis N. Kluge, 2017. "Sticks or Carrots? Comparing Effectiveness of Government Shadow Economy Policies in Russia," Working Papers 364, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    5. Bologna, Jamie, 2016. "The effect of informal employment and corruption on income levels in Brazil," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 657-695.
    6. Corneliu Sorin BAICU & Cristian Valentin HAPENCIUC, 2016. "Model Of Choices, Institutions And Direct Democracy Quasi-Economic Factors Of The Influence Of Underground Economy," EcoForum, "Stefan cel Mare" University of Suceava, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Public Administration - Economy, Business Administration and Tourism Department., vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, July.
    7. repec:ces:ifodic:v:14:y:2017:i:4:p:19267788 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Andrea Fracasso & Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti & Diego Coletto, 2018. "Informal economy and extractive institutions," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 9(1).
    9. Alexandru Theodoru DRONCA, 2016. "The influence of fiscal freedom, government effectiveness and human development index on tax evasion in the European Union," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(4(609), W), pages 5-18, Winter.
    10. Feige, Edgar L., 2015. "Reflections on the meaning and measurement of Unobserved Economies: What do we really know about the “Shadow Economy”?," MPRA Paper 68466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Boris Urban & Brian Ndou, 2019. "Informal Entrepreneurship: A Focus On South African Township Entrepreneurs," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 24(04), pages 1-19, December.
    12. Elbahnasawy, Nasr G., 2021. "Can e-government limit the scope of the informal economy?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    13. Friedrich Schneider, 2017. "Estimating the Size of the Shadow Economies of Highly-developed Countries: Selected New Results," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 14(04), pages 44-53, February.
    14. Ciprian ROTARU & Raluca GEORGESCU & Dumitru-Alexandru BODISLAV, 2017. "The evolution of corruption and its current state – A case study on Romania," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(610), S), pages 99-108, Spring.
    15. Aziz N. Berdiev & James W. Saunoris, 2019. "Globalization and Informal Entrepreneurship: A Cross-Country Analysis," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 47(1), pages 65-80, March.
    16. Friedrich Schneider, 2017. "Estimating the Size of the Shadow Economies of Highly-developed Countries: Selected New Results," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 14(4), pages 44-53, 02.
    17. Giombini, Germana & Teobaldelli, Désirée & Schneider, Friedrich, 2018. "Interaction effect of tax evasion and legal system inefficiency on firms' financial constraints," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 1-20.
    18. Schneider Friedrich, 2015. "Schwarzarbeit, Steuerhinterziehung und Korruption: Was ökonomische und nicht-ökonomische Faktoren zur Erklärung beitragen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 412-425, December.
    19. Jamie Bologna, 2014. "The Effect of Informal Employment and Corruption on Income Levels in Brazil," Working Papers 14-26, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    20. Ciprian ROTARU & Raluca GEORGESCU & Dumitru-Alexandru BODISLAV, 2017. "The evolution of corruption and its current state – A case study on Romania," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(610), S), pages 99-108, Spring.
    21. Hassan, Mai, 2017. "The impact of the shadow economy on aid and economic development nexus in Egypt," MPRA Paper 80990, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Aleksandra Fedajev & Milica Arsiæ, 2017. "Drivers of shadow economy in transition countries during the post-crisis period: The results of structural model," Proceedings of FIKUSZ 2017, in: Monika Fodor (ed.),Proceedings of FIKUSZ '17, pages 20-34, Óbuda University, Keleti Faculty of Business and Management.
    23. Aziz N. Berdiev & James W. Saunoris & Friedrich Schneider, 2020. "Poverty and the shadow economy: The role of governmental institutions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 921-947, April.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Friedrich Schneider & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2012. "Beyond the Veil of Ignorance: The Influence of Direct Democracy on the Shadow Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3749, CESifo.
    2. Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt, 2009. "The economic effects of direct democracy—a first global assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 431-461, September.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "The Role of Direct Democracy and Federalism in Local Power," IEW - Working Papers 209, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Agnese Sacchi & Aline Pennisi, 2013. "Is direct democracy a problem or a promise for fiscal outcomes? The case of the United States," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0178, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    5. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich, 2007. "Shadow Economy, Tax Morale, Governance and Institutional Quality: A Panel Analysis," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt26s710z8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    6. Seebauer, Michael, 2015. "Does direct democracy foster efficient policies? An experimental investigation of costly initiatives," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 01/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    7. Nadia Fiorino & Roberto Ricciuti, 2007. "Determinants of Direct Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2035, CESifo.
    8. John G. Matsusaka, 2018. "Public policy and the initiative and referendum: a survey with some new evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 174(1), pages 107-143, January.
    9. Nadia Fiorino & Roberto Ricciuti, 2007. "Determinants of Direct Democracy," ICER Working Papers 23-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    10. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    11. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "Direkte Demokratie," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    12. Roberto Dell’Anno & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2015. "Keeping both corruption and the shadow economy in check: the role of decentralization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(1), pages 1-40, February.
    13. Belmonte, Alessandro & Dell'Anno, Roberto & Teobaldelli, Désirée, 2018. "Tax morale, aversion to ethnic diversity, and decentralization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 204-223.
    14. Halla Martin, 2012. "Tax Morale and Compliance Behavior: First Evidence on a Causal Link," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, April.
    15. Rajeev K. Goel & James W. Saunoris, 2017. "Forms of government decentralization and institutional quality: evidence from a large sample of nations," Chapters, in: Naoyuki Yoshino & Peter J. Morgan (ed.), Central and Local Government Relations in Asia, chapter 12, pages 395-420, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Pascal Langenbach & Franziska Tausch, 2019. "Inherited Institutions: Cooperation in the Light of Democratic Legitimacy," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 364-393.
    17. Hug, Simon & Spörri, Franziska, 2011. "Referendums, trust, and tax evasion," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 120-131, March.
    18. Zareh Asatryan, 2016. "The indirect effects of direct democracy: local government size and non-budgetary voter initiatives in Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(3), pages 580-601, June.
    19. Torgler, Benno & Schneider, Friedrich & Schaltegger, Christoph A., 2007. "With or Against the People? The Impact of a Bottom-Up Approach on Tax Morale and the Shadow Economy," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6331x6vz, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    20. Axel Dreher & Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Friedrich Schneider, 2014. "The devil is in the shadow. Do institutions affect income and productivity or only official income and official productivity?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 121-141, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shadow economy; Direct democratic institutions; District magnitude; Good governance; O17; P16; H11; H26;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:157:y:2013:i:3:p:543-567. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.