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A Fresh Assessment of the Underground Economy and Tax Evasion in Pakistan: Causes, Consequences, and Linkages with the Formal Economy

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  • M. Ali Kemal

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)

Abstract

Rise in the underground economy creates problems for the policy-makers to formulate economic policies, especially the monetary and fiscal policies. It is found that if there was no tax evasion, budgets balance might have been zero and positive for some years and we would not have needed to borrow as much as we had borrowed. It is concluded that the impact of the underground economy is significant to the movements of the formal economy, but the impact of formal economy is insignificant in explaining the movements in the underground economy. In the long run, underground economy and official economy are positively associated. It is estimated that the underground economy ranges between Rs 2.91 trillion and Rs 3.34 trillion (54.6 percent of GDP to 62.8 percent of GDP respectively) in 2005 and tax evasion ranges between Rs 302 billion and Rs 347 billion (5.7 percent of GDP to 6.5 percent of GDP respectively) in 2005. Underground economy and tax evasion were increasing very rapidly in the early 1980s but the rate of increase accelerated in the 1990s. It declined in 1999, but reverted to an increasing trend until 2003. It declined again in 2004 and 2005

Suggested Citation

  • M. Ali Kemal, 2007. "A Fresh Assessment of the Underground Economy and Tax Evasion in Pakistan: Causes, Consequences, and Linkages with the Formal Economy," PIDE-Working Papers 2007:13, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:wpaper:2007:13
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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Farooq Arby & Muhammad Jahanzeb Malik & Muhammad Nadim Hanif, 2010. "The Size of Informal Economy in Pakistan," Working Papers id:2493, eSocialSciences.
    2. Amjad Ali & Marc Audi, 2018. "Macroeconomic Environment and Taxes Revenues in Pakistan: An Application of ARDL Approach," Bulletin of Business and Economics (BBE), Research Foundation for Humanity (RFH), vol. 7(1), pages 30-39, March.
    3. Khalil Ahmad & Amjad Ali & Michael Yang, 2022. "The Effect Of Trade Liberalization On Expenditure Structure Of Pakistan," Bulletin of Business and Economics (BBE), Research Foundation for Humanity (RFH), vol. 11(1), pages 73-84, March.
    4. Paraskevi Koufopoulou & Colin C. Williams & Athanassios Vozikis & Kyriakos Souliotis & Antonios Samprakos, 2021. "Estimating Shadow Economy Size in Greece 2000 - 2018: A Flexible MIMIC Approach," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 71(3-4), pages 23-47, July-Dece.
    5. Rafat MAHMOOD & Eatzaz AHMAD, 2015. "Measurement Of Import Smuggling In Pakistan," Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Applied Economics Research Centre, vol. 25(2), pages 135-159.
    6. Khurrum S. Mughal & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2020. "How Informal Sector Affects the Formal Economy in Pakistan? A Lesson for Developing Countries," South Asian Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance, , vol. 9(1), pages 7-21, June.
    7. Leandro Medina & Friedrich Schneider, 2019. "Shedding Light on the Shadow Economy: A Global Database and the Interaction with the Official One," CESifo Working Paper Series 7981, CESifo.
    8. Mughal, Khurrum & Schneider, Friedrich, 2018. "Shadow Economy in Pakistan: Its Size and Interaction with Official Economy," MPRA Paper 87087, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Shaikh, Salman, 2014. "Tax Increment Financing in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 53801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Saeed Karimi Petanlar & Ahmad Jafari Samimi & Alireza Aminkhaki, 2011. "An Estimation of Tax Evasion in Iran," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 3(1), pages 8-12.
    11. Mohammad Hossien Pourkazemi & Mohammad Naser Sherafat & Delfan Azari, 2015. "Modeling Iran`s Underground Economy: A Fuzzy Logic Approach," Iranian Economic Review (IER), Faculty of Economics,University of Tehran.Tehran,Iran, vol. 19(1), pages 91-106, Winter.
    12. Omar Ashraf & M. Ali Kemal, 2019. "Exploring the Determinants of Underground Economy of Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2019:163, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    13. Colin C. Williams & Muhammad S. Shahid, 2016. "Informal entrepreneurship and institutional theory: explaining the varying degrees of (in)formalization of entrepreneurs in Pakistan," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1-2), pages 1-25, January.
    14. Salar, Laleena & Zaman, Khalid & Khilji, Bashir Ahmad & Khan, Muhammad Mushtaq & Lodhi, Mohammad Saeed, 2013. "The consequences of revenue gap in Pakistan: Unveiling the reality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 281-294.
    15. Anastasiou Athanasios & Kalamara Eleni & Kalligosfyris Charalampos, 2020. "Estimation of the size of tax evasion in Greece," Bulletin of Applied Economics, Risk Market Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 97-107.
    16. Robina Ather Ahmed & Mark Rider, 2013. "Using Microdata to Estimate Pakistan’s Tax Gap by Type of Tax," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(3), pages 334-359, May.
    17. Ahmed Gulzar & Novaira Junaid & Adnan Haider, 2010. "What is Hidden in the Hidden Economy of Pakistan? Size, Causes, Issues, and Implications," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 665-704.
    18. Mannan, Kazi Abdul & Farhana, Khandaker Mursheda & Chowdhury, G. M. Omar Faruque, 2021. "Social Network and Tax Evasion: Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence in Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 108279, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2021.
    19. Khurrum S. Mughal & Friedrich G. Schneider & Faheem Aslam & Alishba Tahir, 2021. "Money Multiplier Bias Due to Informal Sector: An Extension of the Existing Money Multiplier," South Asian Journal of Macroeconomics and Public Finance, , vol. 10(2), pages 139-157, December.
    20. Shaikh, Salman, 2013. "Global Competitiveness: Challenges & Solutions for Pakistan," MPRA Paper 53796, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Khurrum S. Mughal & Friedrich G. Schneider & Zafar Hayat, 2020. "Intensity of Regulations as a Cause of the Informal Sector," Journal of South Asian Development, , vol. 15(2), pages 135-154, August.
    22. 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.
    23. Ibn e Hassan & Ahmed Naeem & Sidra Gulzar, 2021. "Voluntary tax compliance behavior of individual taxpayers in Pakistan," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-23, December.
    24. Robina Ather Ahmed & Mark Rider, 2008. "Pakistan’s Tax Gap: Estimates By Tax Calculation and Methodology," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0811, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Underground Economy; Tax Evasion;

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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