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Measuring true sales and underreporting with matched firm-level survey and tax-office data

  • Zhou, Fujin
  • Oostendorp, Remco

This paper uses firm-level survey data matched with official tax records to estimate the unobserved true sales of formal firms in Mongolia. Taking into account firm-level incentives to comply with taxes and a production function technology linking unobserved true sales with observable firm-level production characteristics, the authors derive a multiple-indicators, multiple-causes model predicting unobserved true sales. Comparing predicted true sales with sales reported to the tax office, the analysis finds that 38.6 percent of firm-level sales are underreported. It also finds evidence that firm-level survey data suffer from significant underreporting. Finally, the paper compares this approach with two alternative approaches to measuring underreporting by firms.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5628.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5628
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  1. Johnson, Simon & McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Why do Firms Hide? Bribes and Unofficial Activity After Communism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Måns Söderbom & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 2000. "Credit constraints in manufacturing enterprises in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-24, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Junko Koeda & Era Dabla-Norris, 2008. "Informality and Bank Credit; Evidence From Firm-Level Data," IMF Working Papers 08/94, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Teal, Francis, 1996. "The Size and sources of economic rents in a developing country manufacturing labour market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 963-76, July.
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  6. Donald Siegel, 1997. "The Impact Of Computers On Manufacturing Productivity Growth: A Multiple-Indicators, Multiple-Causes Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 68-78, February.
  7. Giles, David E A, 1999. "Measuring the Hidden Economy: Implications for Econometric Modelling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F370-80, June.
  8. Cull, Robert & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2005. "Institutions, ownership, and finance: the determinants of profit reinvestment among Chinese firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 117-146, July.
  9. Gatti, Roberta & Honorati, Maddalena, 2008. "Informality among formal firms : firm-level, cross-country evidence on tax compliance and access to credit," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4476, The World Bank.
  10. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  11. Roberto Dell’Anno & Miguel Gómez-Antonio & Angel Pardo, 2007. "The shadow economy in three Mediterranean countries: France, Spain and Greece. A MIMIC approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 51-84, July.
  12. Anderson, James H., 1998. "The size, origins, and character of Mongolia's informal sector during the transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1916, The World Bank.
  13. Dollar, David & Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Mengistae, Taye, 2005. "Investment Climate and Firm Performance in Developing Economies," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-31, October.
  14. Chaudhuri, Kausik & Schneider, Friedrich & Chattopadhyay, Sumana, 2006. "The size and development of the shadow economy: An empirical investigation from states of India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 428-443, August.
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