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A Dynamic Model of the Black Economy


  • Dan Anderberg


A dynamic equilibrium model of an economy with underground trade is developed in which agents devote effort to search, building up networks of underground contacts. The model is used to illustrate dynamic responses to tax increases. The model is shown to be consistent with the stylized fact that the underground economies have continued to grow in many countries after taxes have stopped increasing. The model is also used to explore how optimal policy depends on the dynamic properties of underground networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Anderberg, 2006. "A Dynamic Model of the Black Economy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(4), pages 447-461, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200602)61:4_447:admotb_2.0.tx_2-r

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Search and Taxation in a Model of Underground Economic Activities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 647-659, October.
    2. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-894, October.
    3. Dixit, Avinash K & Sandmo, Angar, 1977. " Some Simplified Formulae for Optimal Income Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(4), pages 417-423.
    4. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
    5. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-979, December.
    6. Lemieux, Thomas & Fortin, Bernard & Frechette, Pierre, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in the Underground Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 231-254, March.
    7. Trandel, Greg & Snow, Arthur, 1999. "Progressive income taxation and the underground economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 217-222, February.
    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.
    9. Willi Leibfritz & John Thornton & Alexandra Bibbee, 1997. "Taxation and Economic Performance," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 176, OECD Publishing.
    10. Slemrod, Joel, 1994. "Fixing the leak in Okun's bucket optimal tax progressivity when avoidance can be controlled," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 41-51, September.
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    More about this item


    taxation; underground economy; search; optimal dynamic policy; dynamic tax responses;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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