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What causes the hidden economy in Spain?


  • Jose Maria Serrano
  • Maria Dolores Gadea


Estimating the size of the hidden economy continues to attract the interest of both researchers and politicians alike. However, and despite the recent increase in the technical sophistication of the two estimation methods most commonly employed in the empirical literature, namely the monetary approach and the multiple causes-indicators technique, it is necessary to continue making advances in our knowledge of the relationships between the hidden economy and its economic and institutional environment. Against this background, this paper sets out to provide empirical evidence on this question. Using the estimation made by Gadea and Serrano (2001) of hidden income in Spain during the period 1964--1998, a univariate and multivariate causality analysis is carried out between hidden income and the representative variables of the legal economy, taxation, the labour market and currency. The results allow one to draw a number of interesting conclusions on the complexity of these relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Maria Serrano & Maria Dolores Gadea, 2005. "What causes the hidden economy in Spain?," Applied Financial Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 143-150, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apfelt:v:1:y:2005:i:3:p:143-150

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Juan Carlos Conesa Roca & Carlos Díaz Moreno & José Enrique Galdón Sánchez, 2001. "Underground economy and aggregate fluctuations," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 41-53.
    2. Frey, Bruno S & Weck, Hannelore, 1983. "Estimating the Shadow Economy: A 'Naive' Approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 23-44, March.
    3. Pesaran, H. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 1998. "Generalized impulse response analysis in linear multivariate models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-29, January.
    4. David E. A. Giles, 1999. "Modelling the hidden economy and the tax-gap in New Zealand," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 621-640.
    5. 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.
    6. David Giles, 1997. "Causality between the measured and underground economies in New Zealand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 63-67.
    7. Namkee Ahn & Sara La De Rica, 1997. "The underground economy in Spain: an alternative to unemployment?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 733-743.
    8. Granger, C. W. J., 1988. "Some recent development in a concept of causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 199-211.
    9. Frank Atkins, 1999. "Macroeconomic time series and the monetary aggregates approach to estimating the underground economy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(9), pages 609-611.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Pickhardt & Jordi Sardà, 2015. "Size and causes of the underground economy in Spain: a correction of the record and new evidence from the MCDR approach," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 403-429, April.
    2. Pablo Duarte, 2017. "The relationship between GDP and the size of the informal economy: empirical evidence for Spain," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 1409-1421, June.

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