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Size and Development of Tax Evasion in 38 OECD Countries: What do we (not) know?

  • Andreas Bühn
  • Friedrich Schneider

For the first time we develop a time series of tax evasion (in % of official GDP) for 38 OECD countries over the period 1999 to 2010 based on MIMIC model estimations of the shadow economy. Considering indirect taxation and self-employment as the driving forces of tax evasion, we observe a declining trend of tax evasion between 1999 and 2010 for all countries. The average size of tax evasion across all 38 countries over the period 1999 to 2010 is 3.2% of official GDP. The country with the highest average value is Mexico with 6.8%, followed by Turkey with 6.7%; at the lower end we find the United States and Luxembourg with 0.5% and 1.3%, respectively.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4004.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4004
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  1. Lars P. Feld & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Tax Morale after the Reunification of Germany: Results from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1921, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Thomas, Jim, 1999. "Quantifying the Black Economy: 'Measurement without Theory' Yet Again?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F381-89, June.
  3. Andreas Buehn & Friedrich Schneider, 2013. "Shadow Economies in highly developed OECD countries: What are the driving forces?," Economics working papers 2013-17, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. Panayiota Lyssiotou & Panos Pashardes & Thanasis Stengos, 2004. "Estimates of the black economy based on consumer demand approaches," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 622-640, 07.
  5. 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.
  6. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 109-149, 05.
  7. Friedrich Schneider (ed.), 2011. "Handbook on the Shadow Economy," Books, Edward Elgar, number 13432.
  8. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Tax Morale and Institutions," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-09, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  9. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World: Size, Causes, and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
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