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To be or not to be informal?: A Structural Simulation

  • Vargas, Jose P Mauricio

The paper presents estimations of the informal economy size in Bolivia from an application of a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model. The parameter estimation is performed using maximum likelihood method to obtain, as an intermediate result, a latent variable estimation of the informal economy size. This procedure is new, as the estimate of the size of the informal economy using a dynamic structural model represents an alternative study area to latent variable models which assume relationships without a strong support in theory (MIMIC models). The results suggest that the size of the informal economy represents 60% of Bolivian GDP in 2010 and that the trend has been decreasing in the last decade. In addition, we simulated four alternative policies to reduce the size of the underground economy. Some of them allow to identify surprising response mechanisms which allows to analyze the flow of workers from the informal sector into the formal sector and vice versa. The research, besides quantifying the informal economy size, tries to provide a tool and methodology for evaluating alternative policy scenarios related to fiscal policy and labor mobility in a framework of an economy with a large informal sector and evasion.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 41290.

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Date of creation: 18 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41290
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  1. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
  2. Tanzi, Vito, 1999. "Uses and Abuses of Estimates of the Underground Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F338-47, June.
  3. Leonardo Gasparini & Leopoldo Tornarolli, 2007. "Labor Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Patterns and Trends from Household Survey Microdata," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0046, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  4. David N. DeJong & Chetan Dave, 2007. "Introduction to Structural Macroeconometrics
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  5. Vito Tanzi, 1986. "The Underground Economy in the United States: Reply to Comments by Feige, Thomas, and Zilberfarb," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(4), pages 799-811, December.
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  7. David E. A. Giles, 1999. "Modelling the Hidden Economy and the Tax-Gap in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9905, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  8. Carlos Arango A. & Martha Misas A. & Enrique López, 2005. "Economía Subterránea En Colombia 1976-2003: Una Medición A Partir De La Demanda De Efectivo," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002396, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  9. 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.
  10. Schneider, Friedrich G. & Buehn, Andreas, 2007. "Shadow economies and corruption all over the world: revised estimates for 120 countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1, pages 1-53.
  11. Friedrich Schneider & Benno Torgler, 2007. "The impact of tax morale and institutional quality on the shadow economy," Economics working papers 2007-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  12. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, June.
  13. Been-Lon Chen, 2003. "Tax Evasion in a Model of Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 381-403, April.
  14. Adjemian, Stéphane & Bastani, Houtan & Karamé, Fréderic & Juillard, Michel & Maih, Junior & Mihoubi, Ferhat & Perendia, George & Pfeifer, Johannes & Ratto, Marco & Villemot, Sébastien, 2011. "Dynare: Reference Manual Version 4," Dynare Working Papers 1, CEPREMAP, revised Jul 2014.
  15. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram & Charles H. Whiteman, 2000. "Keynesian impulses versus Solow residuals: identifying sources of business cycle fluctuations," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 311-329.
  16. Karanfil, Fatih & Ozkaya, Ata, 2007. "Estimation of real GDP and unrecorded economy in Turkey based on environmental data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 4902-4908, October.
  17. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Henley, Andrew & Arabsheibani, Reza & Carneiro, Francisco G., 2006. "On Defining and Measuring the Informal Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2473, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. David E. A. Giles, 1998. "Measuring The Hidden Economy: Implications for Econometric Modelling," Econometrics Working Papers 9809, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  20. Loayza, Norman V. & Oviedo, Ana Maria & Serven, Luis, 2005. "The impact of regulation on growth and informality - cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3623, The World Bank.
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  22. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Guillermo Javier Vuletin, 2008. "Measuring the Informal Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 08/102, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Busato, Francesco & Chiarini, Bruno & Rey, Guido M., 2012. "Equilibrium implications of fiscal policy with tax evasion: A long run perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 197-214.
  25. Edgar L. Feige, 2005. "Overseas Holdings Of U.S.Currency And The Underground Economy," Macroeconomics 0501022, EconWPA.
  26. repec:reg:rpubli:271 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1996. "The Empirical Foundations of Calibration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 87-104, Winter.
  28. Tedds, Lindsay, 2005. "The Underground Economy in Canada," MPRA Paper 4229, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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