Market Consumption and Hidden Consumption: A Test for Substitutability
In this paper we perform an empirical analysis on the relationship between private consumption and underground economy for the Italian case. We find that private market consumption and underground (or hidden) consumption may be defined as ”complementary goods”: an increase in underground consumption tends to rise family market consumption and increase its marginal utility. An implication of this result is that the nonmarket sector does not offer hedging opportunities to the consumer-worker as stressed in Busato and Chiarini (2002) artificial economy. Moreover, wealth effects associated with a change in underground consumption are negative. A statistical model confirms this structural interpretation.
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