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Size and Development of the Shadow Economies of 157 Countries Worldwide: Updated and New Measures from 1999 to 2013

Author

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  • Hassan, Mai

    (University of Marburg)

  • Schneider, Friedrich

    (University of Linz)

Abstract

This paper is a first attempt to study the size and development of the shadow economies of 157 countries over 1999 to 2013. Using a MIMIC model, we find that higher tax and regulatory burden, unemployment and self-employment rates are drivers of the shadow economy, meaning that an increase of these causal variables increases the shadow economy. Our result also confirms previous findings of Friedrich Schneider, Andreas Buehn and Claudia Montenegro (2010). The estimated average of informality of 157 countries around the world, including developing, eastern European, central Asian and high income OECD countries averaged over 1999 to 2013 is 33.77% of official GDP. A critical discussion about the size of these macro-estimates comes to the conclusion that most likely the "true" shadow economy of these countries is only 69% of their estimated macro-MIMIC-values.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassan, Mai & Schneider, Friedrich, 2016. "Size and Development of the Shadow Economies of 157 Countries Worldwide: Updated and New Measures from 1999 to 2013," IZA Discussion Papers 10281, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10281
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schneider Friedrich, 2010. "The Influence of Public Institutions on the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Investigation for OECD Countries," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 441-468, December.
    2. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(2), pages 109-149, May.
    3. Buehn Andreas, 2012. "The Shadow Economy in German Regions: An Empirical Assessment," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 275-290, August.
    4. Tanzi, Vito, 1999. "Uses and Abuses of Estimates of the Underground Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 338-347, June.
    5. Christopher Bajada & Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "The Shadow Economies Of The Asia‐Pacific," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 379-401, October.
    6. Egle Tafenau & Helmut Herwartz & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Regional Estimates of the Shadow Economy in Europe," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 629-636.
    7. 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.
    8. Buehn, Andreas & Schneider, Friedrich, 2008. "MIMIC Models, Cointegration and Error Correction: An Application to the French Shadow Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 3306, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Mai Hassan & Friedrich Schneider, 2016. "Modelling the Egyptian Shadow Economy: A Currency Demand and A MIMIC Model Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 5727, CESifo.
    10. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 109-149, May.
    11. Mai HASSAN & Friedrich SCHNEIDER, 2016. "Modelling the Egyptian Shadow Economy: A MIMIC model and A Currency Demand approach," Journal of Economics and Political Economy, KSP Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 309-339, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Friedrich Schneider & Andreas Buehn & Claudio Montenegro, 2010. "New Estimates for the Shadow Economies all over the World," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 443-461.
    14. Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza, 2009. "Illegal trade in the Iranian economy: Evidence from a structural model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 489-507, December.
    15. Zellner, Arnold, 1970. "Estimation of Regression Relationships Containing Unobservable Independent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 11(3), pages 441-454, October.
    16. Schneider,Friedrich & Enste,Dominik H., 2016. "The Shadow Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781316600894, November.
    17. Andreas Buehn & Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2013. "Impact of education on the shadow economy: Institutions matter," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2052-2063.
    18. Chaudhuri, Kausik & Schneider, Friedrich & Chattopadhyay, Sumana, 2006. "The size and development of the shadow economy: An empirical investigation from states of India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 428-443, August.
    19. Andreas Buehn & Alexander Karmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "Shadow Economy and Do-it-Yourself Activities: The German Case," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(4), pages 701-722, December.
    20. Tedds, Lindsay, 2005. "The Underground Economy in Canada," MPRA Paper 4229, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Colin C. Williams & Friedrich Schneider, 2016. "Measuring the Global Shadow Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 16551.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    shadow economies of 157 countries; quality of institutions; tax and regulatory burden; MIMIC model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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