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Are Underground Workers More Likely To Be Underground Consumers?

  • Bernard Fortin
  • Guy Lacroix
  • Claude Montmarquette

This paper investigates the effect of working in the underground sector on the level of individual underground expenditures. We show that it can be decomposed into a network effect, a non-separability effect and an income effect. Our empirical analysis uses micro data from a randomized survey conducted in the province of Québec for 1993. GMM methods allow us to take into account censoring and measurement error on the dependent variable as well as the possible endogeneity of the conditioning labor supply variables. We find that an increase in the underground labor supply has a strong positive effect on the level of underground expenditures. This relationship amplifies the impact of tax policy and of the enforcement system on the size of the underground economy. Cet article étudie les effets du travail au noir sur le niveau des achats au noir des individus. On montre qu'il peut se décomposer en un effet de réseau, un effet de non-séparabilité et un effet revenu. Notre analyse empirique utilise des micro-données tirées d'une enquête réalisée au Québec pour l'année 1993. La méthode des moments généralisés nous permet de tenir compte de la censure et des erreurs de mesure sur la variable dépendante ainsi que de l'endogénéité des variables d'offre de travail qui conditionnent les décisions de consommation. Selon nos résultats, une hausse de l'offre de travail au noir accroît de façon importante le niveau des dépenses au noir. Cet effet amplifie l'impact des politiques de taxation et de contrôle fiscal sur la taille de l'économie souterraine.

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File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/97s-28.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 97s-28.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:97s-28
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  1. Neary, J.P & Roberts, K.W.S, 1978. "The Theory of Household Behaviour under Rationing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 132, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Stapleton, David C & Young, Douglas J, 1984. "Censored Normal Regression with Measurement Error on the Dependent Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 737-60, May.
  3. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  4. Wales, T. J. & Woodland, A. D., 1983. "Estimation of consumer demand systems with binding non-negativity constraints," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 263-285, April.
  5. Dan Usher, 1986. "Tax Evasion and the Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Working Papers 637, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. James G. MacKinnon & Halbert White, 1983. "Some Heteroskedasticity Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimators with Improved Finite Sample Properties," Working Papers 537, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Lemieux, Thomas & Fortin, Bernard & Frechette, Pierre, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in the Underground Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 231-54, March.
  8. Kesselman, Jonathan R., 1989. "Income tax evasion : An intersectoral analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 137-182, March.
  9. Pollak, Robert A, 1969. "Conditional Demand Functions and Consumption Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 60-78, February.
  10. Lacroix, Guy & Fortin, Bernard, 1992. "Utility-Based Estimation of Labour Supply Functions in the Regular and Irregular Sectors," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1407-22, November.
  11. Andersen, Per, 1977. " Tax Evasion and Labor Supply," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(3), pages 375-83.
  12. Browning, M J, 1983. "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Conditional Cost Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 851-56, May.
  13. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
  14. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
  15. Cowell, Frank A., 1985. "Tax evasion with labour income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-34, February.
  16. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  17. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "Hypothesis Testing with Efficient Method of Moments Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 777-87, October.
  18. Cowell, F A, 1990. "Tax Sheltering and the Cost of Evasion," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 231-43, January.
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