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The Unofficial Economy in Russia


  • Byung-Yeon Kim

    () (Department of Economics, Seoul National University, Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)


This paper provides the various estimates of Russia’s unofficial economy during the transition period and discusses the estimation methods of the unofficial economy. It suggests that Russia’s unofficial economy, which substantially increased during the early 1990s and stands still high compared to other countries, is caused by the institutional and cultural legacy from the Soviet era and problems in the transition period such as poor quality of institutions and newly available opportunities. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the evolution of the unofficial economy over time and its heterogeneity across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Byung-Yeon Kim, 2011. "The Unofficial Economy in Russia," KIER Working Papers 797, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:797

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    1. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 2000. "Why do firms hide? Bribes and unofficial activity after communism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 495-520, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Edgar L. Feige & Ivica Urban, 2003. "Estimating the Size and Growth of Unrecorded Economic Activity in Transition Countries: A Re-evaluation of Electric Consumption Method Estimates and their Implications," Macroeconomics 0311010, EconWPA.
    4. Michael Alexeev & William Pyle, 2001. "A Note on Measuring the Unofficial Economy in the Former Soviet Republics," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 436, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    5. Serguey Braguinsky & Sergey Mityakov & Andrey Liscovich, 2014. "Direct Estimation of Hidden Earnings: Evidence from Russian Administrative Data," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 281-319.
    6. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Klara Sabirianova Peter, 2009. "Myth and Reality of Flat Tax Reform: Micro Estimates of Tax Evasion Response and Welfare Effects in Russia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 504-554, June.
    7. Anna Ivanova & Michael Keen & Alexander Klemm, 2005. "The Russian ‘flat tax’ reform," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(43), pages 397-444, July.
    8. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Sabirianova Peter, Klara, 2007. "Public sector pay and corruption: Measuring bribery from micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 963-991, June.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Andreas Buehn & Claudio E. Montenegro, 2011. "Shadow Economies All Over the World: New Estimates for 162 Countries from 1999 to 2007," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Shadow Economy, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. R. Hirschowitz, 1989. "The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 57(4), pages 266-272, December.
    11. 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.
    12. Jay Pil Choi & Marcel Thum, 2005. "Corruption And The Shadow Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 817-836, August.
    13. Feige, Edgar L. & Urban, Ivica, 2008. "Measuring underground (unobserved, non-observed, unrecorded) economies in transition countries: Can we trust GDP?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 287-306, June.
    14. Acaravci, Ali & Ozturk, Ilhan, 2010. "Electricity consumption-growth nexus: Evidence from panel data for transition countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 604-608, May.
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