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Tax Evasion, the Underground Economy and Financial Development


  • Keith Blackburn
  • Niloy Bosey
  • Salvatore Capasso


We study the relationship between the underground economy and financial development in a model of tax evasion and bank intermediation. Agents with heterogenous skills seek loans in order to undertake risky investment projects. Asymmetric information between borrowers and lenders implies a menu of loan contracts that induce self-selection in a separating equilibrium. Faced with these contracts, agents choose how much of their income to declare by trading off their incentives to offer collateral against their disincentives to comply with tax obligations. The key implication of the analysis is that the marginal net bene?t of income disclosure increases with the level of ?financial development. Thus, in accordance with empirical observation, we establish the result that the lower is the stage of such development, the higher is the incidence of tax evasion and the greater is the size of the underground economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Blackburn & Niloy Bosey & Salvatore Capasso, 2010. "Tax Evasion, the Underground Economy and Financial Development," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 138, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:man:cgbcrp:138

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Capasso, Salvatore & Jappelli, Tullio, 2013. "Financial development and the underground economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 167-178.
    2. repec:spr:joecth:v:63:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0976-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tausch, Arno & Heshmati, Almas, 2014. "Testing an EU-Candidate's Place on the Maps of Global Economic, Political and Social Values: The Case of Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 8163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Keith Blackburn & Niloy Bosey & Salvatore Capasso, 2008. "Financial Development and the Underground Economy," Working Papers 5_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    5. Bruno Chiarini & Maria Ferrara & Elisabetta Marzano, 2016. "Investment Shocks, Tax Evasion and the Consumption Puzzle: A DSGE Analysis with Financial Frictions," CESifo Working Paper Series 6015, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Levaggi, Rosella & Menoncin, Francesco, 2016. "Optimal dynamic tax evasion: A portfolio approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 115-129.
    7. Imamoglu, Hatice, 2017. "Estimating the roles of financial sector development and international trade openness in underground economies: Evidence from the European Union," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-50, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Thorsten Beck & Chen Lin & Yue Ma, 2014. "Why Do Firms Evade Taxes? The Role of Information Sharing and Financial Sector Outreach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(2), pages 763-817, April.
    9. Elbahnasawy, Nasr G. & Ellis, Michael A. & Adom, Assandé Désiré, 2016. "Political Instability and the Informal Economy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 31-42.
    10. Berdiev, Aziz N. & Saunoris, James W., 2016. "Financial development and the shadow economy: A panel VAR analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 197-207.
    11. Salvatore Capasso & Stefano Monferrà & Gabriele Sampagnaro, 2015. "The Shadow Economy and Banks’ Lending Technology," CSEF Working Papers 422, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    12. Germana Giombini & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2012. "The effects of tax evasion and the inefficiency of the legal system on firms’ financial constraints: are they complements or substitutes?," Working Papers 1207, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2012.
    13. repec:ksp:journ3:v:4:y:2017:i:2:p:187-211 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Claudiu T. Albulescu & Matei Tamasila & Ilie M. Taucean, 2016. "Shadow economy, tax policies, institutional weakness and financial stability in selected OECD countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1868-1875.
    15. Yilmaz Bayar & Omer Faruk Ozturk, 2016. "Financial Development and Shadow Economy in European Union Transition Economies," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 14(2 (Summer), pages 157-173.
    16. Misbah Kiani & Adeel Ahmed & Khalid Zaman, 2015. "Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches for measuring underground economy of Pakistan," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 295-317, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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