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Measuring the Shadow Economy: Endogenous Switching Regression with Unobserved Separation

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  • Lichard, Tomáš

    (CERGE-EI)

  • Hanousek, Jan

    (CERGE-EI)

  • Filer, Randall K.

    (Hunter College/CUNY)

Abstract

We develop an estimator of unreported income, perhaps due to tax evasion, that does not depend on as strict identifying assumptions as previous estimators based on microeconomic data. The standard identifying assumption that the self-employed underreport income whereas wage and salary workers do not is likely to fail in countries where employees are often paid under the table or engage in corrupt activities. Assuming that evading individuals have a higher consumption-income gap than non-evading ones due underreporting both to tax authorities and in surveys, an endogenous switching model with unknown sample separation enables the estimation of consumption-income gaps for both underreporting and truthful households. This avoids the need to identify non-evading and evading groups ex-ante. This methodology is applied to data from Czech and Slovak household budget surveys and shows that estimated evasion is substantially higher than found using previous methodologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Lichard, Tomáš & Hanousek, Jan & Filer, Randall K., 2012. "Measuring the Shadow Economy: Endogenous Switching Regression with Unobserved Separation," IZA Discussion Papers 6901, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6901
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    Cited by:

    1. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek & Tomáš Lichard & Karine Torosyan, 2019. "‘Flattening’ tax evasion? : Evidence from the post‐communist natural experiment," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 27(1), pages 223-246, January.
    2. Konrad Dymarski, 2013. "Segmentacja populacji a szacowany rozmiar szarej strefy," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 7-8, pages 133-155.
    3. Piotr Dybka & Michał Kowalczuk & Bartosz Olesiński & Andrzej Torój & Marek Rozkrut, 2019. "Currency demand and MIMIC models: towards a structured hybrid method of measuring the shadow economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(1), pages 4-40, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    shadow economy; switch regression; income-consumption gap;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • J39 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Other

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