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Capital Subsidies and the Underground Economy

Author

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  • Francesco Busato
  • Bruno Chiarini
  • Pasquale de Angelis
  • Elisabetta Marzano

    () (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the effects of different fiscal policies on the firm choice to produce underground. We consider a tax evading firm operating simultaneously both in the regular and in the underground economy. We suggest that such a kind of firm, referred to as moonlighting firm, is able to offset the specific costs usually stressed by literature on underground production, such as those suggested by Loayza (1994) and Anderberg et al. (2003). Investigating the effects of different fiscal policy interventions, we find that taxation is a critical parameter to define the size of capital allocation in the underground production. In fact, a strong and inverse relationship is found, and tax reduction is the best policy to reduce the convenience to produce underground. We also confirm the depressing effect on investment of taxation (see, for instance, Summers, 1981), so that tax reduction has no cost in terms of investment. By contrast, the model states that while enforcement is an effective tool to reduce capital allocation in the underground production, it also reduce the total capital stock. Moreover, we also suggest that the allowance of incentives to capital accumulation may generate, in this specific typology of firm, some unexpected effects, causing, together with a positive investment process, also an increase in the share of irregularity. This finding could explain, in a microeconomic framework, the evidence of Italian southern regions, where high incentives are combined with high irregularity ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini & Pasquale de Angelis & Elisabetta Marzano, 2005. "Capital Subsidies and the Underground Economy," Economics Working Papers 2005-10, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2005-10
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/05/wp05_10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Busato, Francesco & Chiarini, Bruno & Rey, Guido M., 2012. "Equilibrium implications of fiscal policy with tax evasion: A long run perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 197-214.
    2. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Maurizio Pugno, 2002. "The underground economy and the underdevelopment trap," Department of Economics Working Papers 0201, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini, 2004. "Market and underground activities in a two-sector dynamic equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 23(4), pages 831-861, May.
    4. Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Search and Taxation in a Model of Underground Economic Activities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 647-659, October.
    5. Elisabetta Marzano, 2004. "Dual Labour Market Theories And Irregular Jobs: Is There a Dualism Even in The Irregular Sector?," CELPE Discussion Papers 81, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    6. Chiarini Bruno & Marzano Elisabetta, 2004. "Dimensione e dinamica dell'economia sommersa: un approfondimento del "currency demand approach"," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 303-334.
    7. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
    8. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
    9. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
    10. Loayza, Norman V., 1994. "Labor regulations and the informal economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1335, The World Bank.
    11. Trandel, Greg & Snow, Arthur, 1999. "Progressive income taxation and the underground economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 217-222, February.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, "undated". "Shadow Activity and Unemployment in a Depressed Labor Market," Working Papers 177, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    14. Alm, James, 1985. "The Welfare Cost of the Underground Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(2), pages 243-263, April.
    15. Bontempi Maria Elena & Giannini Silvia & Guerra Maria Cecilia & Tiraferri Angela, 2001. "Incentivi agli investimenti e tassazione dei profitti: l'impatto delle recenti riforme fiscali sul "cash flow" delle società di capitali," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 249-284.
    16. Carillo, Maria Rosaria & Pugno, Maurizio, 2004. "The underground economy and underdevelopment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 257-279, September.
    17. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maurizio Bovi & Peter Claeys, 2008. "Treasury V Dodgers. A Tale of Fiscal Consolidation and Tax Evasion," ISAE Working Papers 93 Classification-JEL E62, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    evasion; moonlighting; capital subsidies; underground production.;

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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