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Fiscal Consolidation with Tax Evasion and Corruption

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2014

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  • Evi Pappa
  • Rana Sajedi
  • Eugenia Vella

Abstract

Cross-country evidence highlights the importance of tax evasion and corruption in determining the size of fiscal multipliers. We introduce these two features in a New Keynesian model and revisit the effects of fiscal consolidations. VAR evidence for Italy suggests that spending cuts reduce tax evasion, while tax hikes increase it. In the model, spending cuts induce a reallocation of production towards the formal sector, thus reducing tax evasion. Tax hikes increase the incentives to produce in the less productive shadow sector, implying higher output and unemployment losses. Corruption further amplifies these losses by requiring larger hikes in taxes to reduce debt. We use the model to assess the recent fiscal consolidation plans in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Our results corroborate the evidence of increasing levels of tax evasion during these consolidations and point to significant output and welfare losses, which could be reduced substantially by combating tax evasion and corruption.
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Suggested Citation

  • Evi Pappa & Rana Sajedi & Eugenia Vella, 2014. "Fiscal Consolidation with Tax Evasion and Corruption," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2014, pages 56-75, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13456
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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