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Why do Firms Hide? Bribes and Unofficial Activity After Communism

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  • Johnson, Simon
  • McMillan, John
  • Woodruff, Christopher

Abstract

Our survey of private manufacturing firms finds the size of hidden "unofficial" activity to be much larger in Russia and Ukraine than in Poland, Slovakia and Romania. A comparison of cross-country averages shows that managers in Russia and Ukraine face higher effective tax rates, worse official corruption, greater incidence of mafia protection, and have less faith in the court system. Our firm-level regressions for the three Eastern European countries find that official corruption is significantly associated with hiding output.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Simon & McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Why do Firms Hide? Bribes and Unofficial Activity After Communism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2105
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
    2. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    3. Marcouiller, Douglas & Young, Leslie, 1995. "The Black Hole of Graft: The Predatory State and the Informal Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 630-646, June.
    4. Maria Lacko, 1999. "Do Power Consumption Data Tell the Story? - Electricity Intensity and Hidden Economy in Post-Socialist Countries," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 9902, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    5. Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "Government in transition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 385-410, April.
    6. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Contract Enforcement in Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 211, CESifo.
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:30725664 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-392, May.
    9. Frye, Timothy & Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 354-358, May.
    10. Eric Friedman & Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufmann & Pablo Zoido-Lobaton, 1999. "Dodging the Grabbing Hand: The Determinants of Unofficial Activity in 69," Departmental Working Papers 199921, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    11. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
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    13. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corruption; unofficial economy;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P35 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Public Finance

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