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Underground labor, search frictions and macroeconomic fluctuations

  • Giuseppe Ciccarone
  • Francesco Giuli

We study the e¤ects of underground activities on labour market dynamics in a RBC model with search frictions in the labor market, bargained wage and quadratic hiring costs. Underground activities, which allow agents to (partially) evade taxes, are modelled through a moonlighting production scheme where both regular and underground labor use the same capital equipment inside the firm. Calibrating the model on the U.S. economy, we show that a higher relative size of underground production implies lower average employment and a lower job finding rate, together with higher volatility of employment and lower volatilities of hours worked and wages of regular labor services. The theoretical explanation we provide is that a higher level of the underground activity increases the ratio of the flow contribution of non-working to the flow contribution of a worker to a labour match.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University Roma Tre in its series Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' with number 0159.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:rtr:wpaper:0159
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