IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

An Analysis of the Underground Economy and its Macroeconomic Consequences

  • Era Dabla-Norris
  • Andrew Feltenstein

This paper develops a dynamic computable general equilibrium model in which optimizing agents evade taxes by operating in the underground economy. The cost to firms of evading taxes is that they find themselves subject to credit rationing from banks. Our model simulations show that in the absence of budgetary flexibility to adjust expenditures, raising tax rates too high drives firms into the underground economy, thereby reducing the tax base. Aggregate investment in the economy is lowered because of credit rationing. Taxes that are too low eliminate the underground economy, but result in unsustainable budget and trade deficits. Thus, the optimal rate of taxation, from a macroeconomic point of view, may lead to some underground activity.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/23.

in new window

Length: 26
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/23
Contact details of provider: Postal: International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA
Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Feltenstein, Andrew & Shah, Anwar, 1993. "General Equilibrium Effects of Taxation on Investment in a Developing Country: The Case of Pakistan," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(3), pages 366-86.
  2. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G., 2000. "Informality and rent-seeking bureaucracies in a model of long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 173-197, August.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrew Feltenstein, 2000. "Bank Failures and Fiscal Austerity: Policy Presecriptions for a Developing Country," IMF Working Papers 00/90, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Burgess, Robin & Stern, Nicholas, 1993. "Taxation and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 762-830, June.
  6. Blejer, Mario I. & Feldman, Ernesto V. & Feltenstein, Andrew, 2002. "Exogenous shocks, contagion, and bank soundness: a macroeconomic framework," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 33-52, February.
  7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  8. 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.
  9. Mehnaz Ahmed & Qazi Masood Ahmed, 1995. "Estimation of the Black Economy of Pakistan through the Monetary Approach," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 791-807.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. 黑社會 in Wikipedia Chinese ne '')
  2. Организовани криминал in Wikipedia Serbian ne '')
  3. Organized crime in Wikipedia English ne '')

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow)

or (Hassan Zaidi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.