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The not so dark side of trust: Does trust increase the size of the shadow economy?

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  • Johanna D'Hernoncourt
  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon

Abstract

This paper reports a negative relationship between the size of the shadow economy and generalized trust, in a sample of countries, both developed and developing. That relationship is robust to controlling for a large set of economic, policy, and institutional variables, to changing the estimate of the shadow economy and the estimation period, and to controlling for endogeneity. It is independent from trust in institutions and from income inequality, and is mainly present in the sample of developing countries. Those findings suggest that the tax compliance effect of trust dominates its role as a substitute for the formal legal system.

Suggested Citation

  • Johanna D'Hernoncourt & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2012. "The not so dark side of trust: Does trust increase the size of the shadow economy?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98287, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/98287
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    Cited by:

    1. Hernandez, Diego & Rudolph, Alexandra, 2015. "Modern day slavery: What drives human trafficking in Europe?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 118-139.
    2. Mazhar, Ummad & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2017. "Taxing the unobservable: The impact of the shadow economy on inflation and taxation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 89-103.
    3. Tausch, Arno & Heshmati, Almas, 2014. "Testing an EU-Candidate's Place on the Maps of Global Economic, Political and Social Values: The Case of Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 8163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 215-238, July.
    5. Stracca, Livio & Buetzer, Sascha & Jordan, Christina, 2013. "Macroeconomic imbalances: a question of trust?," Working Paper Series 1584, European Central Bank.
    6. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Sekkat, Khalid, 2015. "The formal and informal institutional framework of capital accumulation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 754-771.
    7. Feige, Edgar L., 2015. "Reflections on the meaning and measurement of Unobserved Economies: What do we really know about the “Shadow Economy”?," MPRA Paper 68466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Wahl, Fabian, 2012. "Why it matters what people think: Beliefs, legal origins and the deep roots of trust," FZID Discussion Papers 52-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    9. Gaetano Lisi & Maurizio Pugno, 2010. "Entrepreneurship and the Hidden Economy: An Extended Matching Model," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 587-605.
    10. Mohammad Javad Razmi & Arash Jamalmanesh, 2014. "How Political Indices Affect The Shadow Economy," Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 9(1), pages 45-55, March.
    11. Christian Bjørnskov, 2011. "Combating Corruption: On the Interplay between Institutional Quality and Social Trust," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 135-159.
    12. Kaplanoglou, Georgia & Rapanos, Vassilis T., 2015. "Why do people evade taxes? New experimental evidence from Greece," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 21-32.
    13. Heinemann, Friedrich & Osterloh, Steffen & Kalb, Alexander, 2014. "Sovereign risk premia: The link between fiscal rules and stability culture," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 110-127.
    14. Bjørnskov, Christian & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2015. "The Productivity of Trust," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 317-331.
    15. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00472 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Salahodjaev, Raufhon, 2015. "Intelligence and Shadow Economy: a Cross-Country Empirical Assessment," MPRA Paper 61976, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shadow economy; informal sector; trust; Shadow economy; Informal sector; Trust;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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