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The Shadow Economy and Corruption in Greece

Author

Listed:
  • Stavros Katsios

    (Ionian University)

Abstract

The paper highlights the interaction between the underground economy and corruption, focussing on the regional dimensions of the problem in south-eastern Europe. It discusses the theoretical approach to underground economic activities and focuses on the determinants of the Greek economy, the tax and national insurance burdens and the intensity of the relevant regulations in Greece, concluding that Greece shows profound signs of a transition country in terms of the high level of regulation leading to a high incidence of bribery and a large shadow economy. The taxation problems arising from high administrative-compliance costs and bribery indicate the urgent need for tax reforms designed to simplify the regulation framework. Improvement of the quality of Greek institutions and rationalisation of administrative-compliance costs are a prerequisite for successful and urgently needed tax reforms in terms of reducing the overall Greek shadow economy, through the simplification of the regulatory framework. The inability of Greek governments to tax underground activities, and the relevant impact on the scale of corruption, is related with a vast range of governmental activities distorting and weakening its allocative, redistributional and stabilising role. The paper finally argues that the strong and consistent relationship between the shadow economy and corruption in Greece is closely connected with the reflexes of those who are not willing or cannot afford to bribe central or local government bureaucrats, or who have no connections to these bureaucrats, systematically choosing the dark (shadow) side of the economy as a substitute for corruption (bribery) and making the shadow economy complementary to a "corrupt state".

Suggested Citation

  • Stavros Katsios, 2006. "The Shadow Economy and Corruption in Greece," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 4(1), pages 61-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:seb:journl:v:4:y:2006:i:1:p:61-80
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    File URL: http://www.asecu.gr/Seeje/issue06/katsios.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    7. Tanzi, Vito, 1999. "Uses and Abuses of Estimates of the Underground Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 338-347, June.
    8. Dixon, Huw, 1999. "Controversy: On the Use of the 'Hidden Economy' Estimates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 335-337, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Colin C. Williams & Friedrich Schneider, 2016. "Measuring the Global Shadow Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 16551, April.
    2. Piecuch, Jakub, 2013. "The evolution of the socio-economic system of Southern Europe during the European Union membership of Greece, Portugal and Spain," MPRA Paper 70824, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    shadow economy; corruption; government; tax reform; Greece;

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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