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

The devil is in the shadow : Do institutions affect income and productivity or only official income and official productivity?

This paper assesses the relationship between institutions, output, and productivity, when official output is corrected for the size of the shadow economy. Our results confirm the usual positive impact of institutional quality on official output and total factor productivity, and its negative impact on the size of the underground economy. However, once output is corrected for the shadow economy, the relationship between institutions and output becomes weaker. The impact of institutions on total (“corrected”) factor productivity even becomes insignificant. Differences in corrected output must then be attributed to differences in factor endowments. These results survive several tests for robustness.

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 KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 07-179.

in new window

Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:07-179
Contact details of provider: Postal: Leonhardstrasse 21, CH-8092 Zürich
Phone: +41 44 632 42 39
Fax: +41 44 632 12 18
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Aymo Brunetti & Beatrice Weder, 1998. "Investment and institutional uncertainty: A comparative study of different uncertainty measures," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 513-533, September.
  2. Klarita G�rxhani, 2004. "The Informal Sector in Developed and Less Developed Countries: A Literature Survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(3_4), pages 267-300, 09.
  3. Abu-Qarn, Aamer S. & Abu-Bader, Suleiman, 2007. "Sources of Growth Revisited: Evidence from Selected MENA Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 752-771, May.
  4. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Hindriks, J. & Keen, M. & Muthoo, A., 1996. "Corruption, Extortion and Evasion," Papers 179, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
  6. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Laurent Weill, 2004. "Does better governance foster efficiency? An aggregate frontier analysis," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 75-90, January.
  7. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 215-238, July.
  8. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  9. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEP Discussion Papers dp0667, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  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. Schneider, Friedrich G., 2007. "Shadow Economies and Corruption All Over the World: New Estimates for 145 Countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1, pages 1-66.
  14. North, Douglass C., 1993. "Economic Performance through Time," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
  15. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  16. Tanzi, Vito, 1999. "Uses and Abuses of Estimates of the Underground Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F338-47, June.
  17. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  18. Victor Tanaka, 2010. "The ‘informal sector’ and the political economy of development," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 295-317, October.
  19. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1994. "Capital fundamentalism, economic development, and economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 259-292, June.
  20. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Jaime Júnior, Pedro & Pessoa, Samuel de Abreu, 2002. "Testing Production Functions Used in Empirical Growth Studies," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 441, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  21. Johann Graf Lambsdorff, 2003. "How Corruption Affects Productivity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 457-474, November.
  22. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:83-116 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  24. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Wacziarg, Romain & Kurlat, Sergio & Easterly, William, 2003. "Fractionalization," Scholarly Articles 4553003, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    • Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," NBER Working Papers 9411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  25. Dabla-Norris, Era & Gradstein, Mark & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2008. "What causes firms to hide output? The determinants of informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 1-27, February.
  26. Bjornskov, Christian, 2006. "The multiple facets of social capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 22-40, March.
  27. Abdelhak Senhadji, 2000. "Sources of Economic Growth: An Extensive Growth Accounting Exercise," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(1), pages 6.
  28. Chong, Alberto & Gradstein, Mark, 2006. "Inequality and Informality," CEPR Discussion Papers 5545, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Schneider, Friedrich, 2005. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we really know?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 598-642, September.
  30. Désirée Teobaldelli, 2011. "Federalism and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 269-289, March.
  31. Kneller, Richard & Andrew Stevens, Philip, 2003. "The specification of the aggregate production function in the presence of inefficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 223-226, November.
  32. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
  33. Aiyar, Shekhar & Dalgaard, Carl-Johan, 2009. "Accounting for productivity: Is it OK to assume that the world is Cobb-Douglas?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 290-303, June.
  34. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:681-712 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: What Do We Really Know?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  36. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  37. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Olson, Mancur, Jr & Sarna, Naveen & Swamy, Anand V, 2000. " Governance and Growth: A Simple Hypothesis Explaining Cross-Country Differences in Productivity Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 341-64, March.
  39. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-92, May.
  41. Susan M. Collins & Barry P. Bosworth, 1996. "Economic Growth in East Asia: Accumulation versus Assimilation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 135-204.
  42. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat & Laurent Weill, 2009. "Institutional reforms now and benefits tomorrow: How soon is tomorrow?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/92374, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  43. 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.
  44. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. " The Tyranny of Concepts: CUDIE (Cumulated, Depreciated, Investment Effort) Is Not Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 361-84, December.
  45. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:07-179. 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: ()

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.