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Inequality and Underground Economy: A Not so Easy Relationship

  • Enzo VALENTINI

    ([n.a.])

Economic theory is paying increasing attention to non-observed economy (NOE) and its causes. Recently, a couple of works (Rosser et al. 2000, Rosser et al. 2003) have claimed that there is a positive relationship between income inequality and the size of NOE. This supposed relationship is not so clear and deserves in-depth analysis. There is a crucial aspect that has been completely avoided in these studies: income inequality is mainly measured using "regular" incomes and this fact could lead to some bias. The existence of a certain size of NOE implies some income evasion which can affect the inequality indexes used in the study of the relationship between NOE and inequality. Including the regional share of NOE in a wage equation I find that, in the specific case of the Italian private sector employees, the income evasion attached to NOE tends to reduce inequality measured by regular wages statistics.

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File URL: http://docs.dises.univpm.it/web/quaderni/pdf/283.pdf
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Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 283.

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Length: 14
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:283
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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
  2. Friedrich Schneider, 2004. "Shadow Economies around the World: What do we really know?," IAW Discussion Papers 16, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  3. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 285-299, June.
  4. Fugazza, Marco & Jacques, Jean-Francois, 2004. "Labor market institutions, taxation and the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 395-418, January.
  5. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1989. "The Wage Curve," NBER Working Papers 3181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  6. Rosser, J. Jr. & Rosser, Marina V. & Ahmed, Ehsan, 2000. "Income Inequality and the Informal Economy in Transition Economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 156-171, March.
  7. Cebula, Richard, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Government Tax and Auditing Policies on the Size of the Underground Economy: The Case of the United States, 1973-94," MPRA Paper 49810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. 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.
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