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Ethnic Divisions and the Size of the Informal Sector

  • David Dreyer Lassen

    (Economic Policy Research Unit, University of Copenhagen)

This paper investigates the relationship between ethnic fragmentation and the size of the informal economy. Recent experimental and empirical research links, in turn, ethnicity and trust, and trust and tax compliance. In addition, recent empirical studies have identified an unwillingness to contribute to public goods benefiting other ethnic groups. Combining these insights, we argue that increasing ethnic fractionalization decreases voluntary tax compliance, and present empirical evidence at the macro level in a cross-section of more than fifty countries, that more ethnically fragmented societies have significantly larger informal sectors.

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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 03-01.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:03-01
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  1. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  2. Fjeldstad, Odd-helge & Semboja, Joseph, 2001. "Why People Pay Taxes: The Case of the Development Levy in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2059-2074, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. 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.
  7. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  8. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
  10. Morton Deutsch, 1958. "Trust and suspicion," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 2(4), pages 265-279, December.
  11. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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