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Why Do Firms Hide? Bribes and Unofficial Activity after Communism

  • Simon Johnson

    (Sloan School of Management, MIT)

  • Daniel Kaufmann

    (The World Bank)

  • John McMillan

    (Stanford University)

  • Christopher Woodruff

    (Univeristy of California San Diego)

Our survey of private manufacturing firms finds the size of hidden ‘unofficial’ activity to be much larger in Russia and Ukraine than in Poland, Slovakia and Romania. A comparison of cross-country averages shows that managers in Russia and Ukraine face higher effective tax rates, worse bureaucratic corruption, greater incidence of mafia protection, and have less faith in the court system. Our firm-level regressions for the three Eastern European countries find that bureaucratic corruption is significantly associated with hiding output. Ó 2000 Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0308004.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 25 Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0308004
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; pages: 26 ; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
  2. Timothy Frye & Andrei Shleifer, 1996. "The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand," NBER Working Papers 5856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Johnson, Simon & McMillan, John & Woodruff, Christopher, 1999. "Contract Enforcement in Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2081, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "Government in transition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 385-410, April.
  5. Andreoni, J. & Erard, B. & Feinstein, J., 1996. "Tax Compliance," Working papers 9610r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  7. Loayza, Norman A., 1997. "The economics of the informal sector : a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1727, The World Bank.
  8. Maria Lacko, 1999. "Do Power Consumption Data Tell the Story? - Electricity Intensity and Hidden Economy in Post-Socialist Countries," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 9902, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  9. Marcouiller, Douglas & Young, Leslie, 1995. "The Black Hole of Graft: The Predatory State and the Informal Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 630-46, June.
  10. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-92, May.
  11. Enste, Dominik & Schneider, Friedrich, 1998. "Increasing Shadow Economies all over the World - Fiction or Reality?," IZA Discussion Papers 26, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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