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Decentralization and the Shadow Economy: Oates Meets Allingham-Sandmo

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  • Andreas Bühn
  • Christian Leßmann
  • Gunther Markwardt

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of decentralization on the shadow economy. We argue that decentralization may decrease the size of the shadow economy mainly through two transmission channels: (1) Decentralization enhancing public sector efficiency (efficiency effect), and (2) decentralization reducing the distance between bureaucrats and economic agents, which increases the probability of detection of shadow economic activities (deterrence effect). Using various measures of fiscal, political and government employment decentralization in a cross-section of countries, we find the deterrence effect to be of more importance. The deterrence effect is stronger, the lower the degree of institutional quality. Remarkably, we find no robust evidence of the efficiency effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Bühn & Christian Leßmann & Gunther Markwardt, 2011. "Decentralization and the Shadow Economy: Oates Meets Allingham-Sandmo," CESifo Working Paper Series 3551, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3551
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Manes, Eran & Schneider, Friedrich & Tchetchik, Anat, 2016. "On the Boundaries of the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 10067, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:elg:eechap:17640_12 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Feige, Edgar L., 2015. "Reflections on the meaning and measurement of Unobserved Economies: What do we really know about the “Shadow Economy”?," MPRA Paper 68466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Goel, Rajeev K. & Saunoris, James W., 2014. "Military versus non-military government spending and the shadow economy," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 350-359.
    5. Mohammad Javad Razmi & Arash Jamalmanesh, 2014. "How Political Indices Affect The Shadow Economy," Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 9(1), pages 45-55, March.
    6. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:1095-1129 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi, 2017. "The Impact Of Fiscal Decentralization: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 1095-1129, September.
    8. Rajeev K. Goel & James W. Saunoris, 2017. "Forms of government decentralization and institutional quality: evidence from a large sample of nations," Chapters,in: Central and Local Government Relations in Asia, chapter 12, pages 395-420 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Ceyhun Elgin & Oguz Oztunali, 2013. "Institutions, Informal Economy and Economic Development," Working Papers 2013/03, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    10. Gheorghe ZAMAN & Zizi GOSCHIN, 2016. "A New Multidimensional Ranking of Shadow Economy for EU Countries," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 43(2(52)), pages 14-33, december.
    11. Knobel, Alexander & Chokaev, Bekhan & Mironov, Alexey, 2015. "Comparative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Public Spending in the Field of National Defense and Law Enforcement," Published Papers mn47, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    12. Petr Janský & Miroslav Palanský, 2016. "Fiscal decentralization and the shadow economy," WIDER Working Paper Series 172, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. repec:bla:pbudge:v:36:y:2016:i:4:p:68-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Abdelaaziz Aït Ali & Yassine Msadfa, 2017. "Manufacturing Employment Elasticity and Its Drivers in Developing and Emerging Countries : Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa," Research papers & Policy papers 1709, OCP Policy Center.
    15. Andreas Buehn & Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2013. "Impact of education on the shadow economy: Institutions matter," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2052-2063.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decentralization; shadow economy;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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