Underground Activity And Institutional Change: Productive, Protective And Predatory Behavior In Transition Economies
This paper examines why some transitions are more successful than others by focusing attention on the role of productive, protective and predatory behaviors from the perspective of the new institutional economics. Many transition economies are characterized by a fundamental inconsistency between formal and informal institutions. When formal and informal rules clash, noncompliant behaviors proliferate, among them, tax evasion, corruption, bribery, organized criminality, and theft of government property. These wealth redistributing protective and predatory behaviors activities absorb resources that could otherwise be used for wealth production resulting in huge transition costs. Noncompliant behaviors--evasion, avoidance, circumvention, abuse, and/or corruption of institutional rules--comprise what we can be termed underground economies. A variety of underground economies can be differentiated according to the types of rules violated by the noncompliant behaviors. The focus of the new institutional economics is on the consequences of institutions--the rules that structure and constrain economic activity--for economic outcomes. Underground economics is concerned with instances in which the rules are evaded, circumvented, and violated. It seeks to determine the conditions likely to foster rule violations, and to understand the various consequences of noncompliance with institutional rules. Noncompliance with ‘bad” rules may actually foster development whereas non compliance with “good” rules will hinder development. Since rules differ, both the nature and consequences of rule violations will therefore depend on the particular rules violated. Institutional economics and underground economics are therefore highly complementary. The former examines the rules of the game, the latter the strategic responses of individuals and organizations to those rules. Economic performance depends on both the nature of the rules and the extent of compliance with them. Institutions therefore do affect economic performance, but it is not always obvious which institutional rules dominate. Where formal and informal institutions are coherent and consistent, the incentives produced by the formal rules will affect economic outcomes. Under these circumstances, the rule of law typically secures property rights, reduces uncertainty, and lowers transaction costs. In regimes of discretionary authority where formal institutions conflict with informal norms, noncompliance with the formal rules becomes pervasive, and underground economic activity is consequential for economic outcomes.
|Date of creation:||06 May 2003|
|Note:||Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP/PostScript pdf file; pages: 20 . 20 pages pdf file|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Feige, E.L., 1991. "Socialist Privatization," Papers 1a, United Nations World Employment Programme-.
- Feige, Edgar L., 1990.
"Defining and estimating underground and informal economies: The new institutional economics approach,"
Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 989-1002, July.
- Edgar L. Feige, 2003. "Defining And Estimating Underground And Informal Economies: The New Institional Economics Approach," Development and Comp Systems 0312003, EconWPA.
- Vito Tanzi, 1994. "Corruption, Governmental Activities, and Markets," IMF Working Papers 94/99, International Monetary Fund.
- Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0305001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.