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Estimating the size of the shadow economy in Spain: a structural model with latent variables

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  • Angel Alanon
  • M. Gomez-Antonio

Abstract

There has recently been a revival of international interest in measuring the size of the shadow economy. The current study adopts an approach to the Spanish case that is based on the theory of unobservable variables. This methodology involves the estimation of structural models (MIMIC) which analyses a set of causes of the shadow economy while simultaneously taking into account its influence upon a series of indicators. The proposed model permits the determination of a relative evolution over time of the size of the shadow economy, which requires the calibration of the model with an exogenous estimation in order to obtain real values. The exogenous estimation employed is that obtained by a monetary method based on a money demand function. The results show a considerable shadow economy, measuring between 8 and 18.8% of GDP in the period 1976-2002, and demonstrate that the shadow economy is significantly influenced by the tax burden, the degree of regulation and unit labour costs. A positive correlation is obtained between GDP, money demand and the level of the shadow economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Angel Alanon & M. Gomez-Antonio, 2005. "Estimating the size of the shadow economy in Spain: a structural model with latent variables," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(9), pages 1011-1025.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:9:p:1011-1025
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500081788
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gomis-Porqueras, Pedro & Peralta-Alva, Adrian & Waller, Christopher, 2014. "The shadow economy as an equilibrium outcome," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-19.
    2. Muhammad Farooq Arby & Muhammad Jahanzeb Malik & Muhammad Nadim Hanif, 2010. "The Size of Informal Economy in Pakistan," SBP Working Paper Series 33, State Bank of Pakistan, Research Department.
    3. Mai Hassan & Friedrich Schneider, 2016. "Modelling the Egyptian Shadow Economy: A Currency Demand and A MIMIC Model Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 5727, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2010. "Challenging the popular wisdom. New estimates of the unobserved economy," Working Papers 184, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2010.
    5. Gilbert Mbara & Ryszard Kokoszczynski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Striking a balance: optimal tax policy with labor market duality," GRAPE Working Papers 16, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    6. Andreas Buehn & Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2012. "Smuggling around the world: evidence from a structural equation model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(23), pages 3047-3064, August.
    7. Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2011. "Institutions, policies and economic development. What are the causes of the shadow economy?," Working Papers 206, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2011.
    8. 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.
    9. Roberto Dell'Anno & Offiong Helen Solomon, 2008. "Shadow economy and unemployment rate in USA: is there a structural relationship? An empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(19), pages 2537-2555.
    10. Diego Ravenda & Josep Argilés-Bosch & Maika Valencia-Silva, 2015. "Labor Tax Avoidance and Its Determinants: The Case of Mafia Firms in Italy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 41-62, November.
    11. Makochekanwa, Albert, 2010. "Estimating the size and trends of the second economy in Zimbabwe," MPRA Paper 37807, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. José Brambila Macias & Guido Cazzavillan, 2010. "Modeling the informal economy in Mexico:a structural equation approach," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 44(1), pages 345-365, September.

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