Who Benefits from Tax Evasion?
In this paper, we examine the distributional effects of tax evasion, using results from theoretical, experimental, empirical, and especially the general equilibrium literatures on tax evasion. Much, if not all, of this evidence concludes that the main beneficiaries of successful tax evasion are the tax evaders themselves, with distributional effects that largely favor higher income individuals. However, when general equilibrium adjustments in commodity and factor prices are considered, the distributional effects become considerably more complicated. The work on tax compliance is also put in the broader context of the distributional effects of other types of criminal activities, where similar forces seem to be at work. We conclude with some suggestions for future research.
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