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The hidden costs of tax evasion: collaborative tax evasion in markets for expert services

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  • Loukas Balafoutas
  • Adrian Beck
  • Rudolf Kerschbamer
  • Matthias Sutter

Abstract

In markets where transactions are governed by contractual incompleteness, revealed intentions to evade taxes may affect market performance. We experimentally examine the impact of tax evasion attempts on the performance of credence goods markets, where contractual incompleteness results from asymmetric information on the welfare maximizing quality of the good. We find that tax evasion attempts – independently of whether they are successful or not – lead to efficiency losses in the form of too low quality and less frequent trade. Thus, shadow economies induce an excess burden not only by hampering the collection of tax revenues, but also by reducing market efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2014. "The hidden costs of tax evasion: collaborative tax evasion in markets for expert services," Economics Working Papers ECO2014/01, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2014/01
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credence goods; expert services; tax evasion; fraud; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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