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Religion and the shadow economy

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  • Heinemann, Friedrich
  • Schneider, Friedrich G.

Abstract

Religion is increasingly acknowledged to be a cultural dimension which affects economic outcomes in different regards. This contribution focuses on religion's possible impact on the shadow economy. Different dimensions of the religious markets are taken into account. These dimensions refer to the overall degree of religiosity, the specific impact of different religions, religious competition or the proximity between religion and the state. The empirical test makes use of the largest available cross-section on the size of the shadow economy and matches this dataset with numerous religious indicators. Summary measures of general religiosity or indicators of religious competition do not have a measurable impact. However, robust differences emerge across religions. Countries dominated by Islam or Eastern religions are associated with smaller shadow economies compared to Christian countries. Furthermore, the proximity between state and religion matters. Close ties between both are typical for smaller shadow economies. This is in line with the view that religion uses its normative influence to protect state interests if there is a mutually beneficial relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinemann, Friedrich & Schneider, Friedrich G., 2011. "Religion and the shadow economy," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-038, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11038
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Sascha Hokamp & Götz Seibold, 2014. "Tax Compliance and Public Goods Provision. An Agent-based Econophysics Approach," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, CEJEME, vol. 6(4), pages 217-236, December.
    2. Feige, Edgar L., 2015. "Reflections on the meaning and measurement of Unobserved Economies: What do we really know about the “Shadow Economy”?," MPRA Paper 68466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Elgin, Ceyhun & Goksel, Turkmen & Gurdal, Mehmet Y. & Orman, Cuneyt, 2013. "Religion, income inequality, and the size of the government," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 225-234.
    4. Knobel, Alexander & Chokaev, Bekhan & Mironov, Alexey, 2015. "Comparative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Public Spending in the Field of National Defense and Law Enforcement," Published Papers mn47, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:282-300 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Arye L. Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2016. "Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6017, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Lien, Nguyen Phuong, 2015. "The impact of institutional quality on tax revenue in developing countries," Asian Journal of Empirical Research, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(10), pages 181-195, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economics of religion; tax morale; shadow economy;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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