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Moonlighting Production, Tax Rates and Capital Subsidies


  • Francesco Busato
  • Bruno Chiarini
  • Elisabetta Marzano


Informal firms play a crucial role in both developing and developed countries, and there is evidence of a larger presence of moonlighting firms over ghost firms. The former are firms that operate simultaneously in the official and unofficial sectors, whereas the ghost firms undertake their production only underground. In order to deal with this evidence, through an ad-hoc assumption we represent a specific technological advantage of moonlighting firms over ghost firms, modelled through an aggregate-capital externality. In this setting we examine the steady state effect of fiscal policies aimed to support firms, in particular investment subsidies and tax allowances, on firm size and underground production. Among the main results, a tax cut (rise), induces the moonlighting firm to engage in more (less) official production. Contrary to the presumption that subsidies may also be useful for pushing firms to operate over ground, in the presence of moonlighting technology, the incentives to improve capital stock turn out to be counterproductive in that they increase the unofficial economy overall.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Busato & Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano, 2011. "Moonlighting Production, Tax Rates and Capital Subsidies," CESifo Working Paper Series 3401, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3401

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 2000. "Informality and rent-seeking bureaucracies in a model of long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 173-197, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Ciccarone & Francesco Giuli, 2012. "Underground labor, search frictions and macroeconomic fluctuations," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0159, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.

    More about this item


    formal and informal sectors; capital investment; tax exemptions;

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy


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