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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.

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File URL: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/cgbcr/discussionpapers/dpcgbcr138.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester in its series Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series with number 138.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:man:cgbcrp:138
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manchester M13 9PL
Phone: (0)161 275 4868
Fax: (0)161 275 4812
Web page: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/economics/our-research/centre-for-growth-and-business-cycle-research/

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  1. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2004. "Regulations, Market Structure, Institutions, and the Cost of Financial Intermediation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 593-622, June.
  2. Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
  3. Era Dabla-Norris & Andrew Feltenstein, 2005. "The underground economy and its macroeconomic consequences," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 153-174.
  4. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 14520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Niloy Bose & Salvatore Capasso & Martin Wurm, 2008. "The Impact of Banking Development on the Size of the Shadow Economy," CSEF Working Papers 207, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  7. 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.
  8. Bose, Niloy & Cothren, Richard, 1996. "Equilibrium loan contracts and endogenous growth in the presence of asymmetric information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 363-376, October.
  9. Roger Gordon & Wei Li, 2005. "Tax Structure in Developing Countries: Many Puzzles and a Possible Explanation," NBER Working Papers 11267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fama, Eugene F., 1980. "Banking in the theory of finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 39-57, January.
  11. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  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. 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.
  14. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Some Consequences Of Credit Rationing In An Endogenous Growth Model," RCER Working Papers 159, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  15. Stephane Straub, 2004. "Informal Sector: The Credit Market Channel," ESE Discussion Papers 101, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  19. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  20. Erwan Quintin, 2008. "Contract enforcement and the size of the informal economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 395-416, December.
  21. Azariadis Costas & Smith Bruce D., 1993. "Adverse Selection in the Overlapping Generations Model: The Case of Pure Exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 277-305, August.
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