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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. Schneider, Friedrich & Buehn, Andreas & Montenegro, Claudio E., 2010. "Shadow economies all over the world : new estimates for 162 countries from 1999 to 2007," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5356, The World Bank.
  2. Juan Carlos Conesa Roca & Carlos Díaz Moreno & José Enrique Galdón Sánchez, 2001. "Underground economy and aggregate fluctuations," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 41-53.
  3. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2002. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 15-44.
  4. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "In a World Without Borders: The Impact of Taxes on Internet Commerce," NBER Working Papers 6863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Noh, Yong-Hwan & Yoo, Kyeongwon, 2008. "Internet, inequality and growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1005-1016.
  6. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
  7. Choi, Changkyu, 2003. "Does the Internet stimulate inward foreign direct investment?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 319-326, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Ceyhun Elgin, 2010. "Political Turnover, Taxes and the Shadow Economy," Working Papers 2010/08, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Lars-Hendrik Roller & Leonard Waverman, 2001. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 909-923, September.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Ceyhun Elgin & Oguz Oztunali, 2012. "Shadow Economies around the World: Model Based Estimates," Working Papers 2012/05, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  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, vol. 1, pages 1-66.
  20. Choi, Changkyu, 2010. "The effect of the Internet on service trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 102-104, November.
  21. Ceyhun Elgin, 2012. "Cyclicality of the Informal Economy," Working Papers 2012/02, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  22. 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.).
  23. 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.
  24. Naudé, Wim & Saayman, Andrea, 2005. "Determinants of tourist arrivals in Africa: a panel data regression analysis," MPRA Paper 16479, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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