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Does tax evasion affect unemployment and educational choice?

  • Kolm, Ann-Sofie

    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Larsen, Birthe

    (Copenhagen Business School)

To examine the macro economic effects of government tax and punishment policies, this paper develops a three-sector general quilibrium model featuring matching frictions, heterogenous abilities and an informal sector with tax evasion. The choice of education is determined endogenously. Job opportunities in an informal sector are available only to workers who choose not to acquire higher education. We find that increased punishment of informal activities increases the number of educated workers and reduces the number of unemployed workers. Characterizing the optimal tax and punishment system, we show that it is optimal to more than fully counteract the distortion created by the government’s inability to tax the informal sector. The optimal choice of tax and punishment system, however, implies an inefficiently low stock of educated workers.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004:4.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 15 Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2004_004
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  1. Pestieau, Pierre & Possen, Uri M., 1991. "Tax evasion and occupational choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 107-125, June.
  2. Fugazza, Marco & Jacques, Jean-Francois, 2004. "Labor market institutions, taxation and the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 395-418, January.
  3. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2002. "Social norm, the informal sector and unemployment," Working Papers 04-2002, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  4. Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2000. "Tax Avoidance, Evasion, and Administration," NBER Working Papers 7473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, . "Shadow Activity and Unemployment in a Depressed Labor Market," Working Papers 177, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. Kolm, A.S. & Larsen, B., 2001. "Wages, Unemployment, and the Underground Economy," Papers 2001:08, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. 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.
  8. Jung, Young H. & Snow, Arthur & Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Tax evasion and the size of the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 391-402, July.
  9. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1993. "Tax evasion and optimal commodity taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 261-275, February.
  10. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
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