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Corruption and the shadow economy

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  • Choi, Jay Pil
  • Thum, Marcel

Abstract

This paper develops a simple framework to analyze the links between corruption and the unofficial economy and their implications for the official economy. In a model of self-selection with heterogeneous entrepreneurs, we show that the entrepreneurs' option to flee to the underground economy constrains a corrupt official's ability to introduce distortions to the economy for private gains. The unofficial economy thus mitigates government-induced distortions and, as a result, leads to enhanced economic activities in the official sector. In this sense, the presence of the unofficial sector acts as a complement to the official economy rather than a substitute.

Suggested Citation

  • Choi, Jay Pil & Thum, Marcel, 2003. "Corruption and the shadow economy," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 02/03, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuddps:0203
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jay Pil Choi & Marcel Thum, 2004. "The Economics of Repeated Extortion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 203-223, Summer.
    2. 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 630-646, June.
    3. Thierry Verdier & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "The Choice between Market Failures and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 194-211, March.
    4. Choi, Jay Pil & Thum, Marcel, 2003. "The dynamics of corruption with the ratchet effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 427-443, March.
    5. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
    6. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1973. "A note on optimum tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 265-270, July.
    7. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. Novos, Ian E & Waldman, Michael, 1984. "The Effects of Increased Copyright Protection: An Analytic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 236-246, April.
    11. Eric Friedman & Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufmann & Pablo Zoido-Lobaton, 1999. "Dodging the Grabbing Hand: The Determinants of Unofficial Activity in 69," Departmental Working Papers 199921, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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    13. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    14. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobatón, Pablo, 1998. "Corruption, public finances and the unofficial economy," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 34372, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption; shadow economy; official economy; self-selection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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