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Beyond the Veil of Ignorance: The Influence of Direct Democracy on the Shadow Economy

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  • Friedrich Schneider
  • Désirée Teobaldelli

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the influence of direct democratic institutions on the size and development of the shadow economies. The framework developed predicts a negative relationship between the degree of direct democracy and the size of the shadow economy. Countries where direct democratic institutions support democratic life are expected to be characterized by a lower informal sector, ceteris paribus. The empirical / econometric investigation of a sample of 56 democracies confirms our core hypothesis and demonstrates that the effect of direct democratic institutions on the shadow economy is negative and quantitatively important; the results are robust and also depend on the interaction of direct democracy with other political institutions, such as district magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedrich Schneider & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2012. "Beyond the Veil of Ignorance: The Influence of Direct Democracy on the Shadow Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3749, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3749
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    shadow economy; direct democratic institutions; district magnitude; good governance;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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