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The Unofficial Economy and the Business Cycle: A Test for Theories

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  • Catalina Granda-Carvajal

Abstract

The shadow economy is an extensive phenomenon worldwide. It poses several questions, the consequences of fluctuations in economic activity being among the major ones. Based on official data, this paper establishes a set of cyclical properties of macroeconomic aggregates and studies how these vary across countries with the size of the unofficial sector. Through comparisons with the existing literature on business cycles in economies featuring underground activities, the obtained 'stylized facts' are used to test the relevance of theoretical predictions on the influence of the shadow economy. Using this procedure allows us to confirm that the evidence is not entirely of the sort suggested in business cycle models. In particular, some important macro aggregates and cyclical properties have been neglected in the analysis altogether, while others have been paid too much attention for no apparent empirical reason. Some possible avenues for future research can be drawn from this exercise.

Suggested Citation

  • Catalina Granda-Carvajal, 2010. "The Unofficial Economy and the Business Cycle: A Test for Theories," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 573-586.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:24:y:2010:i:4:p:573-586
    DOI: 10.1080/10168737.2010.525998
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    Cited by:

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    2. Hans-Georg Petersen & Ulrich Thiessen, 2010. "Editors' Introduction: Shadow Economy in High Income Countries - Much Ado about Nothing?," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 413-419.
    3. Catalina Granda-Carvajal, 2010. "The Unofficial Economy and the Business Cycle: A Test for Theories," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 573-586.
    4. Slim, Sadri, 2015. "Un modelo Mundell-Fleming con economía ilegal y lavado de dinero [Modeling illegal economy and money laundering: a Mundell-Fleming framework]," MPRA Paper 64675, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Erotokritos Varelas, 2020. "Expectations about Unreported Output, Bank Lending and Double-Cycle Stability Policy," Bulletin of Applied Economics, Risk Market Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 67-81.
    6. Garcia, D & Granda, C, 2019. "Informalidad, ciclos económicos y política fiscal: una exploración de los nexos," Documentos de trabajo - Alianza EFI 018984, Alianza EFI.
    7. Catalina Granda-Carvajal, 2012. "Macroeconomic Implications of the Underground Sector: Challenging the Double Business Cycle Approach," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 237-256, September.
    8. Gerasimos T. Soldatos, 2018. "Multiplier–Accelerator Interaction in the Presence of an Underground Economy and Taxation," Margin: The Journal of Applied Economic Research, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 12(2), pages 244-256, May.
    9. Canh P. Nguyen & Christophe Schinckus & Dinh Su Thanh, 2020. "Economic Fluctuations And The Shadow Economy: A Global Study," Global Economy Journal (GEJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(03), pages 1-24, September.
    10. Colombo, Emilio & Onnis, Luisanna & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2016. "Shadow economies at times of banking crises: Empirics and theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 180-190.
    11. Aristidis Bitzenis & Vasileios Vlachos & Friedrich Schneider, 2016. "An Exploration of the Greek Shadow Economy: Can Its Transfer into the Official Economy Provide Economic Relief Amid the Crisis?," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(1), pages 165-196, January.
    12. Bruno Chiarini & Maria Ferrara & Elisabetta Marzano, 2016. "Investment Shocks, Tax Evasion and the Consumption Puzzle: A DSGE Analysis with Financial Frictions," CESifo Working Paper Series 6015, CESifo.
    13. Phoebe W. Ishak & Ulrich Fritsche, 2019. "Oil Price Shocks and Protest: Can Shadow Economy Mitigate?," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201901, University of Hamburg, Department of Socioeconomics.
    14. Giuseppe Ciccarone & Francesco Giuli & Enrico Marchetti, 2016. "Search frictions and labor market dynamics in a real business cycle model with undeclared work," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(3), pages 409-442, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shadow economy; business cycles; model evaluation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection

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