The Underground Economy: Minimizing the Size of Government
In this paper we outline the results of some extensive econometric modelling that has been undertaken to establish a time-series of the size of the New Zealand Hidden Economy from 1968 to 1994. The derivation of these data has facilitated a good deal of associated research, and here we draw on those findings to comment, in particular, on the relationship between taxation policy and the effects taxes - in terms of both the overall tax burden and also the nature of the "tax mix", as between direct and indirect taxes, etc.. Our research in this area has revealed a clear and statistically significant link between high taxes and the size of the underground economy. Moreover, we have been able to establish the extent to which reductions in the tax burden, and changes to its "mix", can lower illicit activity in the economy. Interestingly, and very importantly, this in turn enables us to establish an "optimal" aggregate tax rate, if the objective is maximize the impact on the Hidden Economy. Many of the broad lessons that emerge from this research have applicability in the Canadian context, and more specific work of this type with Canadian data is currently being undertaken by the author and colleagues.
|Date of creation:||31 Mar 1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Forthcoming in H. Grubel (ed.), "How to Spend the Fiscal Dividend: What is the Optimal Size of Government?" (Fraser Institute, Vancouver, B.C., 1998).|
|Note:||This is a revised version of a presentation to the Fraser Institute Conference on "How to Spend the Fiscal Dividend", Ottawa, Ontario, December 1997|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://web.uvic.ca/econ
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- Patrick J. Caragata, & David E. A. Giles, 1998. "Simulating the Relationship Between the Hidden Economy and the Tax Level and Tax Mix in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9804, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
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- David Giles, 1997. "Causality between the measured and underground economies in New Zealand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 63-67.
- Phillip Cagan, 1958. "The Demand for Currency Relative to the Total Money Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 303.
- Frey, Bruno S & Pommerehne, Werner W, 1984. "The Hidden Economy: State and Prospects for Measurement," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(1), pages 1-23, March.
- Giles, David E A, 1997. "Testing for Asymmetry in the Measured and Underground Business Cycles in New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 73(222), pages 225-32, September.
- David E. A. Giles, 1998. "The Hidden Economy and the Tax-Gap in New Zealand: A Latent Variable Analysis," Econometrics Working Papers 9807, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
- David Giles, 1999. "The rise and fall of the New Zealand underground economy: are the responses symmetric?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 185-189.
- Rolf Mirus & Roger S. Smith & Vladimir Karoleff, 1994. "Canada's Underground Economy Revisited: Update and Critique," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 20(3), pages 235-252, September.
- David E. A. Giles, & Patrick J. Caragata, 1998. "The Learning Path of the Hidden Economy:Tax and Growth Effects in New Zealand," Econometrics Working Papers 9805, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
- Edgar L. Feige, 2004. "How Big IS the Irregular Economy?," Macroeconomics 0404005, EconWPA.
- David Giles, 1997. "The hidden economy and tax-evasion prosecutions in New Zealand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(5), pages 281-285.
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