The Demand for Currency Approach and the Size of the Shadow Economy: A Critical Assessment
A commonly used approach to measure the size of the shadow economy, known as "the monetary method", is based on econometric estimates of the demand for currency. These estimates are used to get the currency held by economic agents in excess of the amount they need to finance registered transactions. This excess of currency multiplied by the income-velocity of circulation (assumed to be equal in the registered and shadow economies) gives a measure of the hidden GDP. This paper shows that the monetary method only produces coherent estimates if the income-elasticity of the demand for currency is one and suggests a way to correct the estimated size of the shadow economy when such elasticity is not one. The correction is applied to existent measures for different countries.
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- Trevor Breusch, 2005. "Australia's Cash Economy: Are the Estimates Credible?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 394-403, December.
- Fethi Ogunc & Gokhan Yilmaz, 2000. "Estimating The Underground Economy In Turkey," Discussion Papers 0004, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
- Friedrich Schneider & Christopher Bajada, 2003. "The Size and Development of the Shadow Economies in the Asia-Pacific," Economics working papers 2003-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
- Trevor Breusch, 2005. "Australia's Cash Economy: Are the estimates credible?," Macroeconomics 0509025, EconWPA, revised 23 Sep 2005.
- Edgar L. Feige, 2004. "How Big IS the Irregular Economy?," Macroeconomics 0404005, EconWPA.
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