IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/knz/dpteco/1806.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Aggregate Consequences of Tax Evasion

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandro Di Nola

    (University of Konstanz)

  • Georgi Kocharkov

    (Goethe University Frankfurt)

  • Almuth Scholl

    (University of Konstanz)

  • Anna-Mariia Tkhir

    (University of Konstanz)

Abstract

There is a sizable overall tax gap in the U.S., albeit tax non-compliance differs sharply across income types. While only small percentages of wages and salaries are underreported, the estimated misreporting rate of self-employment business income is substantial. This paper studies how tax evasion in the self-employment sector affects aggregate outcomes and welfare. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model with incomplete markets in which heterogeneous agents choose between being a worker or self-employed. Self-employed agents may hide a share of their business income but face the risk of being detected by the tax authority. Our model replicates important quantitative features of the U.S. economy in terms of income, wealth, self-employment, and tax evasion. Our quantitative ndings suggest that tax evasion leads to a larger self-employment sector but it depresses the average size and productivity of self-employed businesses. Tax evasion generates positive aggregate welfare effects because it acts as a subsidy for the self-employed. Workers, however, suffer from substantial welfare losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Di Nola & Georgi Kocharkov & Almuth Scholl & Anna-Mariia Tkhir, 2018. "The Aggregate Consequences of Tax Evasion," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2018-06, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1806
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.uni-konstanz.de/FuF/wiwi/workingpaperseries/WP_06_DiNola_Kocharkov_Scholl_Tkhir_2018.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mariacristina De Nardi & Giulio Fella & Gonzalo Paz-Pardo, 2020. "Nonlinear Household Earnings Dynamics, Self-Insurance, and Welfare," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 890-926.
    2. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Is the Taxable Income Elasticity Sufficient to Calculate Deadweight Loss? The Implications of Evasion and Avoidance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 31-52, August.
    3. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2009. "Estate Taxation, Entrepreneurship, and Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 85-111, March.
    4. Fatih Guvenen, 2009. "An Empirical Investigation of Labor Income Processes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 58-79, January.
    5. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Cagri S. Kumru & Arm Nakornthab, 2018. "Revisiting Tax on Top Income," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2018-660, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    6. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
    7. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-396, March.
    8. Ana Cinta G Cabral & Christos Kotsogiannis & Gareth Myles, 2019. "Self-Employment Income Gap in Great Britain: How Much and Who?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 65(1), pages 84-107.
    9. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    10. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2017. "Optimal Tax Progressivity: An Analytical Framework," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1693-1754.
    11. 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.
    12. Blackburn, Keith & Bose, Niloy & Capasso, Salvatore, 2012. "Tax evasion, the underground economy and financial development," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 243-253.
    13. Julio Cesar Leal Ordonez, 2014. "Tax collection, the informal sector, and productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(2), pages 262-286, April.
    14. Allub, Lian & Erosa, Andrés, 2019. "Financial frictions, occupational choice and economic inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 63-76.
    15. Sergio Ocampo & Gueorgui Kambourov & Daphne Chen & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Fatih Guvenen, 2017. "Use It or Lose It: Efficiency Gains from Wealth Taxation," 2017 Meeting Papers 913, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
    17. Erik Hurst & Geng Li & Benjamin Pugsley, 2014. "Are Household Surveys Like Tax Forms? Evidence from Income Underreporting of the Self-Employed," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 19-33, March.
    18. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    19. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    20. Been-Lon Chen, 2003. "Tax Evasion in a Model of Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 381-403, April.
    21. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "On the optimal progressivity of the income tax code," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1425-1450, October.
    22. Gabriel Ulyssea, 2018. "Firms, Informality, and Development: Theory and Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(8), pages 2015-2047, August.
    23. Zsofia Barany, 2018. "Taxation and Self-Employment," Sciences Po publications 2018-02, Sciences Po.
    24. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
    25. Kotsogiannis, Christos & Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2019. "Tax evasion as contingent debt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 100941, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    26. Andreoni, James, 1992. "IRS as loan shark tax compliance with borrowing constraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 35-46, October.
    27. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
    28. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    29. Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, 2019. "Entrepreneurs, managers and inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 42-67, April.
    30. Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, 2019. "Entrepreneurs, managers and inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 42-67, April.
    31. Slemrod, Joel, and Christian Gillitzer, 2014. "Tax Systems," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262026724, December.
    32. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2011. "Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1964-2002, August.
    33. Antunes, Antonio R. & Cavalcanti, Tiago V. de V., 2007. "Start up costs, limited enforcement, and the hidden economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 203-224, January.
    34. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 559-581, October.
    35. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, May.
    36. Heer, Burkhard & Trede, Mark, 2003. "Efficiency and distribution effects of a revenue-neutral income tax reform," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 87-107, March.
    37. Sagiri Kitao, 2008. "Entrepreneurship, taxation and capital investment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 44-69, January.
    38. 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.
    39. A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), 2002. "Handbook of Public Economics," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    40. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    41. Pissarides, Christopher A. & Weber, Guglielmo, 1989. "An expenditure-based estimate of Britain's black economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-32, June.
    42. Pencavel, John H., 1979. "A note on income tax evasion, labor supply, and nonlinear tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 115-124, August.
    43. A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), 2002. "Handbook of Public Economics," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    44. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1974. "Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 201-202, May.
    45. Christos Kotsogiannis & Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2019. "Tax Evasion as Contingent Debt," Discussion Papers 1903, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Aggregate Consequences of Tax Evasion
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2018-08-03 16:23:38

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Almuth Scholl & Liang Tong, 2020. "Sovereign Default, Taxation, and the Underground Economy," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2020-02, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    2. Di Nola Alessandro & Kocharkov Georgi & Vasilev Aleksandar, 2019. "Envelope wages, hidden production and labor productivity," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 1-30, June.
    3. Uribe-Terán, Carlos, 2021. "Higher taxes at the top? The role of tax avoidance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    4. James Alm & Matthias Kasper, 2020. "Tax evasion, market adjustments, and income distribution," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 1-91, February.
    5. Erosa, Andrés & Fuster, Luisa & Martinez, Tomás R., 2021. "Public financing with financial frictions and underground economy," UC3M Working papers. Economics 32495, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Di Nola Alessandro & Kocharkov Georgi & Vasilev Aleksandar, 2019. "Envelope wages, hidden production and labor productivity," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 1-30, June.
    2. James Alm, 2019. "What Motivates Tax Compliance?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 353-388, April.
    3. Best, Michael & Brockmeyer, Anne & Kleven, Henrik & Spinnewijn, Johannes & Waseem, Mazhar, 2013. "Production vs Revenue Efficiency With Limited Tax Capacity: Theory and Evidence From Pakistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 9717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Eduardo Zilberman, 2016. "Audits or Distortions: The Optimal Scheme to Enforce Self-Employment Income Taxes," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(4), pages 511-544, August.
    5. Giovanni Immordino & Francesco Flaviano Russo, 2014. "Taxing Cash to Fight Collaborative Tax Evasion?," CSEF Working Papers 351, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    6. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2017. "Cultural norms, the persistence of tax evasion, and economic growth," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(4), pages 961-995, April.
    7. Fabio Lamantia & Mario Pezzino & Fabio Tramontana, 2017. "Tax Evasion, Intrinsic Motivation, and the Evolutionary Effects of Tax Reforms," Economics Discussion Paper Series 1707, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    8. Bettina Brueggemann, 2016. "Higher Taxes at the Top: The Role of Entrepreneurs," 2016 Meeting Papers 332, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Todd Kumler & Eric Verhoogen & Judith Frías, 2020. "Enlisting Employees in Improving Payroll Tax Compliance: Evidence from Mexico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(5), pages 881-896, December.
    10. Odd E Nygård & Joel Slemrod & Thor O Thoresen, 2019. "Distributional Implications of Joint Tax Evasion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(620), pages 1894-1923.
    11. Lee, Kangoh, 2016. "Morality, tax evasion, and equity," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 97-104.
    12. Guo, Jang-Ting & Hung, Fu-Sheng, 2020. "Tax evasion and financial development under asymmetric information in credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    13. Bergolo, Marcelo & Cruces, Guillermo, 2014. "Work and Tax Evasion Incentive Effects of Social Insurance Programs: Evidence from an Employment-Based Benefit Extension," IZA Discussion Papers 8198, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Michael Carlos Best & Anne Brockmeyer & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Johannes Spinnewijn & Mazhar Waseem, 2015. "Production versus Revenue Efficiency with Limited Tax Capacity: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(6), pages 1311-1355.
    15. Amedeo Piolatto & Gwenola Trotin, 2016. "Optimal Income Tax Enforcement under Prospect Theory," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(1), pages 29-41, February.
    16. Bergolo, Marcelo & Cruces, Guillermo, 2014. "Work and tax evasion incentive effects of social insurance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 211-228.
    17. Alessandro Di Nola & Georgi Kocharkov & Aleksandar Vasilev, 2017. "Productivity, Taxation and Evasion: An Analysis of the Determinants of the Informal Economy," Bulgarian Economic Papers bep-2017-04, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski - Bulgaria // Center for Economic Theories and Policies at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski, revised Apr 2017.
    18. Christos Kotsogiannis & Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2019. "Tax Evasion as Contingent Debt," Discussion Papers 1903, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    19. Frank A Cowell, 2003. "Sticks and Carrots," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 68, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    20. Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, 2019. "Entrepreneurs, managers and inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 42-67, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax evasion; Self-employment; Wealth inequality; Tax policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1806. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fwkonde.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Office Ursprung (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fwkonde.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.