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National accounts, fiscal rules and fiscal policy. Mind the hidden gaps

Author

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  • Maurizio Bovi

    (ISAE - Institute for Studies and Economic Analyses)

Abstract

Underground activities affect crucial fiscal ratios generating “gaps” both in government revenues and in national accounts. I address this topic exploiting the peculiarities of the Italian situation. First, I describe the pros and cons of the Italian method to estimate the (non trivial share of) shadow economy. This sheds some light on the reliability of GDP estimates and allows unraveling some policy-relevant national accounts gaps. Second, I examine the links between undeclared incomes, tax burden and fiscal policy in a system possibly suffering from unpleasant arithmetic. Data suggest that government revenues and tax evasion go hand-in-hand and highlight the difficulties of policymaking.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Bovi, 2007. "National accounts, fiscal rules and fiscal policy. Mind the hidden gaps," ISAE Working Papers 76, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  • Handle: RePEc:isa:wpaper:76
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    File URL: http://lipari.istat.it/digibib/Working_Papers/WP_76_2007_Bovi.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2005. "Shadow Sorting," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 125-163 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Mills, Lillian F. & Plesko, George A., 2003. "Bridging the Reporting Gap: A Proposal for More Informative Reconciling of Book and Tax Income," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 865-893, December.
    4. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, "undated". "Shadow Activity and Unemployment in a Depressed Labor Market," Working Papers 177, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    5. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Tax avoidance, evasion, and administration," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1423-1470 Elsevier.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1888 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:mul:je8794:doi:10.1429/12923:y:2004:i:1:p:117 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Carillo, Maria Rosaria & Pugno, Maurizio, 2004. "The underground economy and underdevelopment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 257-279, September.
    9. Maurizio Bovi, 2005. "The Dark, and Independent, Side of the Italian Labour Market," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(4), pages 721-748, December.
    10. Maurizio Bovi, 2005. "Book-Tax Gap. An Income Horse Race," ISAE Working Papers 61, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
    11. Patrick J. Caragata, & David E. A. Giles, 1998. "Simulating the Relationship Between the Hidden Economy and the Tax Level and Tax Mix in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9804, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Richard Stone & D. G. Champernowne & J. E. Meade, 1942. "The Precision of National Income Estimates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 111-125.
    15. Maurizio Bovi, 2004. "The (Underground) Wealth of Nations," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 117-139.
    16. Ihrig, Jane & Moe, Karine S., 2004. "Lurking in the shadows: the informal sector and government policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 541-557, April.
    17. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Giuseppe Bertola & Pietro Garibaldi, 2003. "The Structure and History of Italian Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 907, CESifo Group Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal Rules; National Accounts; Shadow Economy; Taxation.;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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