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Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: What Do We Really Know?

  • Friedrich Schneider

Estimations of the size and development of the shadow economy for 145 countries, including developing, transition and highly developed OECD economies over the period 1999 to 2003 are presented. The average size of the shadow economy (as a percent of ?official? GDP) in 2002/03 in 96 developing countries is 38.7%, in 25 transition countries 40.1%, in 21 OECD countries 16.3% and in 3 Communist countries 22.3%. An increased burden of taxation and social security contributions, combined with a labor market regulation are the driving forces of the shadow economy. Finally, the various estimation methods are discussed and critically evaluated.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2005-13.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2005-13
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  1. 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.
  2. Friedrich Schneider & Christopher Bajada, 2003. "The Size and Development of the Shadow Economies in the Asia-Pacific," Economics working papers 2003-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Adam, M.C. & Ginsburgh, V., . "The effects of irregular markets on macroeconomic policy. Some estimates for Belgium," CORE Discussion Papers RP 662, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Benno Torgler & Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Attitudes Towards Paying Taxes in Austria: An Empirical Analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 231-250, 06.
  5. Klovland, Jan Tore, 1984. " Tax Evasion and the Demand for Currency in Norway and Sweden. Is There a Hidden Relationship?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(4), pages 423-39.
  6. Giles, David E A, 1999. "Measuring the Hidden Economy: Implications for Econometric Modelling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F370-80, June.
  7. David Giles, 1997. "Causality between the measured and underground economies in New Zealand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 63-67.
  8. Frey, Bruno S. & Weck-Hanneman, Hannelore, 1984. "The hidden economy as an 'unobserved' variable," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 33-53.
  9. Victor Ginsburgh & Marie Christine Adam, 1985. "The Effects of Irregular Markets on Macroeconomic Policy," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/151090, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. David Giles & Lindsay Tedds & Gugsa Werkneh, 2002. "The Canadian underground and measured economies: Granger causality results," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(18), pages 2347-2352.
  11. Michael Alexeev & William Pyle, 2003. "A note on measuring the unofficial economy in the former Soviet Republics -super-1," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(1), pages 153-175, March.
  12. J. J. Thomas, 1986. "The Underground Economy in the United States: A Comment on Tanzi," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(4), pages 782-789, December.
  13. Schneider, Friedrich, 1986. " Estimating the Size of the Danish Shadow Economy Using the Currency Demand Approach: An Attempt," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(4), pages 643-68.
  14. Frey, Bruno S & Pommerehne, Werner W, 1984. "The Hidden Economy: State and Prospects for Measurement," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(1), pages 1-23, March.
  15. David E. A. Giles, 1998. "Modelling the Hidden Economy and the Tax-Gap in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9810, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  16. Schneider, Friedrich, 1994. "Can the Shadow Economy Be Reduced through Major Tax Reforms? An Empirical Investigation for Austria," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 137-52.
  17. Ben-Zion Zilberfarb, 1986. "Estimates of the Underground Economy in the United States, 1930-80: A Comment on Tanzi," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(4), pages 790-798, December.
  18. Contini, Bruno B, 1981. "Labor Market Segmentation and the Development of the Parallel Economy-The Italian Experience," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 401-12, November.
  19. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  20. Phillip Cagan, 1958. "The Demand for Currency Relative to the Total Money Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 303.
  21. Giles, David E A, 1997. "Testing for Asymmetry in the Measured and Underground Business Cycles in New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 73(222), pages 225-32, September.
  22. Torgler, Benno, 2002. " Speaking to Theorists and Searching for Facts: Tax Morale and Tax Compliance in Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 657-83, December.
  23. Annette Mummert & Friedrich Schneider, 2001. "The German Shadow Economy: Parted in a United Germany?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(3), pages 286-, July.
  24. Isachsen, Arne Jon & Strom, Steiner, 1985. "The Size and Growth of the Hidden Economy in Norway," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 31(1), pages 21-38, March.
  25. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World; Size, Causes, and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Philip Cagan, 1958. "The Demand for Currency Relative to Total Money Supply," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number caga58-1, September.
  27. David Giles, 1999. "The rise and fall of the New Zealand underground economy: are the responses symmetric?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 185-189.
  28. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  29. Bhattacharyya, Dilip K, 1999. "On the Economic Rationale of Estimating the Hidden Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F348-59, June.
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