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Internet Usage and the Shadow Economy: Evidence from Panel Data

  • Ceyhun Elgin

The enormous spread of the internet in the last 20 years has been having various economic consequences. In this paper I ask whether the spread of the internet aided or abetted the shadow economy. To this end, using a panel data of 152 countries over 9 years from 1999 to 2007, I examine the empirical relationship between the degree of internet usage and the size of the shadow economy. Panel and cross-section estimation results indicate that the association between internet usage and shadow economy size strongly interacts with GDP per-capita. I also suggest and then empirically test an economic mechanism to account for this observation.

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Paper provided by Bogazici University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012/09.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bou:wpaper:2012/09
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  1. Choi, Changkyu, 2010. "The effect of the Internet on service trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 102-104, November.
  2. Rouben Indjikain & Donald S. Siegel, 2004. "The Impact of Investment in IT on Economic Performance: Implications for Developing Countries," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0414, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  3. Austan Goolsbee, 2001. "The Implications of Electronic Commerce for Fiscal Policy (and Vice Versa)," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 13-23, Winter.
  4. 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.
  5. Naudé, Wim & Saayman, Andrea, 2005. "Determinants of tourist arrivals in Africa: a panel data regression analysis," MPRA Paper 16479, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2002. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Goel, Rajeev K. & Nelson, Michael A. & Naretta, Michael A., 2012. "The internet as an indicator of corruption awareness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 64-75.
  8. Friedrich Schneider & Andreas Buehn & Claudio E. Montenegro, 2011. "Shadow Economies All Over the World: New Estimates for 162 Countries from 1999 to 2007," Chapters, in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  9. Juan Carlos Conesa & Carlos Diaz Moreno & Jose Enrique Galdon Sanchez, 1997. "Underground economy and aggregate fluctuations," Working Papers in Economics 17, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  10. Schneider, Friedrich, 2005. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we really know?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 598-642, September.
  11. Noh, Yong-Hwan & Yoo, Kyeongwon, 2008. "Internet, inequality and growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1005-1016.
  12. Donald Bruce & William Fox & Matthew Murray, 2003. "To Tax Or Not To Tax? The Case Of Electronic Commerce," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 25-40, 01.
  13. Choi, Changkyu, 2003. "Does the Internet stimulate inward foreign direct investment?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 319-326, June.
  14. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Leonard Waverman, 1996. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," CIG Working Papers FS IV 96-16, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  15. Caroline L. Freund & Diana Weinhold, 2000. "On the effect of the Internet on international trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 693, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Ceyhun Elgin, 2010. "Political Turnover, Taxes and the Shadow Economy," Working Papers 2010/08, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  17. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "In a World Without Borders: The Impact of Taxes on Internet Commerce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 561-576.
  18. Freund, Caroline L. & Weinhold, Diana, 2004. "The effect of the Internet on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 171-189, January.
  19. Schneider, Friedrich G., 2007. "Shadow Economies and Corruption All Over the World: New Estimates for 145 Countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 1, pages 1-66.
  20. Choi, Changkyu & Hoon Yi, Myung, 2009. "The effect of the Internet on economic growth: Evidence from cross-country panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 39-41, October.
  21. Yi, Myung Hoon & Choi, Changkyu, 2005. "The effect of the Internet on inflation: Panel data evidence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 885-889, October.
  22. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  23. Ceyhun Elgin & Oguz Oztunali, 2012. "Shadow Economies around the World: Model Based Estimates," Working Papers 2012/05, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  24. Ceyhun Elgin, 2012. "Cyclicality of the Informal Economy," Working Papers 2012/02, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
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