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Estimating the income reporting function for the self-employed

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  • Lindsay Tedds

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Abstract

There is considerable interest in measuring the underground economy using microeconomic data. One such method estimates income under-reporting by households by assuming a known, parametric form of the Engel curve and making the further parametric assumption that households under-report their income by a constant fraction, independent of income. This paper proposes a nonparametric approach which avoids functional form restrictions and enables the reporting function to vary across income levels and household characteristics. I illustrate by estimating the effect of the Canadian Goods and Services Tax on income under-reporting.
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Suggested Citation

  • Lindsay Tedds, 2010. "Estimating the income reporting function for the self-employed," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 669-687, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:38:y:2010:i:3:p:669-687
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-009-0284-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Panayiota Lyssiotou & Panos Pashardes & Thanasis Stengos, 2004. "Estimates of the black economy based on consumer demand approaches," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 622-640, July.
    2. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
    3. Herb J. Schuetze, 2002. "Profiles of Tax Non-compliance Among the Self-Employed in Canada: 1969 to 1992," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 219-237, June.
    4. Frey, Bruno S. & Weck-Hanneman, Hannelore, 1984. "The hidden economy as an 'unobserved' variable," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 33-53.
    5. Thomas, Jim, 1999. "Quantifying the Black Economy: 'Measurement without Theory' Yet Again?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 381-389, June.
    6. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Krishna Pendakur, 1998. "Semiparametric estimation and consumer demand," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 435-461.
    7. Naeem Ahmed & Matthew Brzozowski & Thomas F. Crossley, 2005. "Measurement Errors in Recall Food Expenditure Data," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 396, McMaster University.
    8. Li, Q. & Wang, Suojin, 1998. "A simple consistent bootstrap test for a parametric regression function," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 145-165, August.
    9. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Quadratic Engel Curves And Consumer Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 527-539, November.
    10. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-760, October.
    11. 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.
    12. Adonis Yatchew, 1998. "Nonparametric Regression Techniques in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 669-721, June.
    13. Tedds, Lindsay, 2005. "The Underground Economy in Canada," MPRA Paper 4229, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Filer, Randall K. & Hanousek, Jan & Lichard, Tomáš & Torosyan, Karine, 2016. ""Flattening" the Tax Evasion: Evidence from the Post-Communist Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 11229, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Tomas Lichard & Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2012. "Measuring the Shadow Economy: Endogenous Switching Regression with Unobserved Separation," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 438, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    3. Adam, Antonis & Kammas, Pantelis, 2012. "(Tax evasion) power to the people: does "early democratization" increase the size of the informal sector?," MPRA Paper 43343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Diego Martinez-Lopez, 2013. "The underreporting of income by self-employed workers in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 353-371, November.
    5. Torregrosa-Hetland, Sara, 2016. "Sticky Income Inequality In The Spanish Transition (1973-1990)," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 39-80, March.
    6. repec:bla:manchs:v:85:y:2017:i:1:p:41-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Åstebro, Thomas & Chen, Jing, 2014. "The entrepreneurial earnings puzzle: Mismeasurement or real?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 88-105.
    8. Christian Traxler, 2009. "Voting over taxes: the case of tax evasion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 43-58, July.
    9. Thomas Åstebro, 2017. "The private financial gains to entrepreneurship: Is it a good use of public money to encourage individuals to become entrepreneurs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 323-329, February.
    10. Paulus, Alari, 2015. "Income underreporting based on income-expenditure gaps: survey vs tax records," ISER Working Paper Series 2015-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    11. Odd Erik Nygård & Joel Slemrod & Thor Olav Thoresen, 2016. "Distributional Implications of Joint Tax Evasion," CESifo Working Paper Series 5915, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Diego Martínez López, 2011. "How different are the Spanish self-employed workers by underreporting their incomes?," Working Papers. Serie EC 2011-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income under-reporting; Nonparametric estimation; Engel curve; C14; D12; O17;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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