nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2013‒11‒22
ten papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Work in the Shadow: Some Facts By Friedrich Schneider
  2. Shadow Economies in highly developed OECD countries: What are the driving forces? By Andreas Buehn; Friedrich Schneider
  3. The Influence of Direct Democracy on the Shadow Economy By Désirée Teobaldelli; Friedrich Schneider
  4. The Shadow Economy in Colombia: Size and Effect on Economic Growth By Friedrich Schneider
  5. Estimating the Size of the Shadow Economy: Methods, Problems and Open Questions By Andreas Buehn; Friedrich Schneider
  6. Effects of carbon taxes in an economy with large informal sector and rural-urban migration By Karlygash Kuralbayeva
  7. Informal or formal financing? Or both? First evidence on the co-funding of Chinese firms. By Degryse, Hans; Lu, Liping; Ongena, Steven
  8. Recent Reforms of Tax Systems in the EU: Good and Bad News By Gaëlle Garnier; Aleksandra Gburzynska; Endre György; Milena Mathé; Doris Prammer; Savino Ruà; Agnieszka Skonieczna
  9. Understanding Media Markets in the Digital Age: Economics and Methodology By Brett Danaher; Samita Dhanasobhon; Michael D. Smith; Rahul Telang
  10. Condiciones de trabajo y calidad del empleo en la Provincia de Buenos Aires. Análisis de los determinantes de los puestos de trabajo con bajas remuneraciones en el período 2003 – 2011 By Calero, Analía V.; Sorokin, Isidoro

  1. By: Friedrich Schneider
    Abstract: In this paper the main focus lies on the shadow economy labor force in OECD, developing and transition countries. Besides informal employment in the rural and non-rural sector also other measures of informal employment like the share of women and men are shown. The most influential factors on the shadow economy labor force are tax policies and state regulation, which, if they rise, increase both. Furthermore the discussion of the recent micro studies underline that economic opportunities, the overall burden of the state (taxes and regulations), the general situation on the labor market, and unemployment are especially crucial for an understanding of the dynamics the shadow labour force.
    Keywords: Shadow economy work, undeclared work, shadow labor force, tax pressure, state regulation, labor market
    JEL: K42 H26 D78
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Andreas Buehn; Friedrich Schneider
    Abstract: The main focus of this paper lies on the “driving forces” of the development and size of the shadow economy in 39 highly developed OECD countries. The most influential factors on the shadow economy are tax policies and state regulation, which, if rising, increase the shadow economy, though other, economic factors like unemployment are important, too. Specifically, it is shown that the main driving forces of the size and development of the shadow economy are unemployment, self-employment and the tax burden, which impact the shadow economies in these 30 OECD countries to a different degree. Between 1999 and 2010 unemployment and self-employment have on average the largest relative impact (14.6%), followed by tax morale (14.5%), GDP growth (14.3%), business freedom (14.2%) and indirect taxes (14.1%).
    Keywords: Shadow economy, tax morale, tax pressure, state regulation, undeclared work
    JEL: K42 H26 D78
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Désirée Teobaldelli; Friedrich Schneider
    Abstract: We analyze, both theoretically and empirically, the influence of direct democratic institutions on the size and development of shadow economies. Our model suggests that, as the extent of direct democracy increases, implemented fiscal policies more nearly reflect the preferences of citizens and so reduce their incentives to operate in the informal sector. This theory implies a negative relationship between the extent of direct democracy and the size of the country’s shadow economy. We also theorize that direct democracy has a greater effect in reducing the informal sector when the former is at low or intermediate values and when the electoral system is characterized by a larger district magnitude. An empirical investigation of a sample of 57 democracies confirms our model’s predictions.
    Keywords: shadow economy, direct democratic institutions, district magnitude, good governance
    JEL: O17 P16 H11 H26
    Date: 2013–07
  4. By: Friedrich Schneider
    Abstract: Using the currency demand approach, size and development of Colombia’s shadow economy are estimated over the period from 1980 to 2012. The results show a great extent of shadow economic activity varying over time between 27 and 56 % of GDP. The most important factors driving the shadow economy are indirect taxation and unemployment. Analyzing the interaction between shadow and official economy, the shadow economy has a negative effect on the official one. Average growth of real per capita GDP is 1.86% between 1980 and 2012, without shadow economy it would have been higher around 0.12 percentage points on average.
    Keywords: Colombian shadow economy, currency demand method, taxation, unemployment, interaction between the shadow and official economy
    JEL: O17 O5 D78 H2 H11 H26
    Date: 2013–10
  5. By: Andreas Buehn; Friedrich Schneider
    Abstract: This paper presents the various methods to estimate the size of the shadow economy, their strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of the paper is twofold. Firstly, it demonstrates that no ideal method to estimate the size and development of the shadow economy exists. Because of its flexibility, the MIMIC method used to get macro-estimates of the size of the shadow economy is discussed in greater detail. Secondly, the paper focuses on the definition and causal factors of the shadow economy as well as on a comparison of the size of the shadow economy using different estimation methods.
    Keywords: shadow economy estimates, MIMIC approach, methods to estimate the shadow economy, advantages and disadvantages of the measurement methods
    JEL: D78 E26 H2 H11 H26 K42 O5 O17
    Date: 2013–10
  6. By: Karlygash Kuralbayeva
    Abstract: I build an equilibrium search and matching model of an economy with an informal sector and rural-urban migration to analyze the effects of budget-neutral green tax policy (raising pollution taxes, while cutting payroll taxes) on the labor market. The key results of the paper suggest that when general public spending varies endogenously in response to tax reform and higher energy taxes can reduce the income from self-employed work in the informal sector, green tax policy can produce a triple dividend: a cleaner environment, lower unemployment rate and higher after-tax income of the private sector. This is due to the ability of the government, by employing public spending as an additional policy instrument, to reduce the overall tax burden when an increase in energy tax rates does not exceed some threshold level. Thus governments should employ several instruments if they are concerned with labor market implications of green tax policies.
    Date: 2013–12
  7. By: Degryse, Hans; Lu, Liping; Ongena, Steven
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Gaëlle Garnier (European Commission); Aleksandra Gburzynska (European Commission); Endre György (European Commission); Milena Mathé (European Commission); Doris Prammer (European Commission); Savino Ruà (European Commission); Agnieszka Skonieczna (European Commission)
    Abstract: This paper reviews to what extent Member States followed the tax policy priorities put forward by the European Commission in the Annual Growth Survey of November 2012: shifting taxation away from labour, broadening tax bases, reducing corporate tax debt bias and improving tax compliance. The ‘good news’ which emerges from the analysis is that overall Member States are making efforts to make tax systems more efficient, competitive and fair; the ‘bad news’ is that the extent of the challenges calls for more action in all the priority areas identified.
    Keywords: European Union, taxation, tax policy, tax reform, VAT, tax fraud, corporate taxation, personal income taxation, environment, research and development
    JEL: H11 H20 H24 H25 H26 H27 H87
    Date: 2013–10
  9. By: Brett Danaher; Samita Dhanasobhon; Michael D. Smith; Rahul Telang
    Abstract: Digitization raises a variety of important academic and managerial questions around firm strategies and public policies for the content industries, with many of these questions influenced by the erosion of copyright caused by Internet file-sharing. At the same time, digitization has created many new opportunities to empirically analyze these questions by leveraging new data sources and abundant natural experiments in media markets. In this chapter we describe the open “big picture” questions related to digitization and the copyright industries, and discuss methodological approaches to leverage the new data and natural experiments in digital markets to address these questions. We close our chapter with a specific proof of concept research study that analyzes an important academic and managerial question — the impact of legitimate streaming services on the demand for piracy. We use ABC's decision to add its content to as a natural experiment and show that it resulted in an economically and statistically significant drop in piracy of that content.
    JEL: K42 L38 L82 O3 O34
    Date: 2013–11
  10. By: Calero, Analía V.; Sorokin, Isidoro
    Abstract: After the 2001 crisis , Argentina has traveled a path of high economic growth linked to a fast restructuring of the labor market and the throwback of the worsening socio-economic and distributive which initiated in the mid- 70 's, and that deepened during the decade of the 90 's. Yet it persist a number of limitations related to job insecurity among which it they are low-paid workers, and particularly of those whose incomes are insufficient to escape from poverty (working poor), which ranges between 3% and 9% for 2011 depending if it is estimated by a lax poverty line or by a restrictive one. This study analyzes the evolution of this problem in the context of the restructuring of the economy, where it is identify the permanence of some vulnerable groups for which the fact of acceding to an employment still has not been matched with a significant improvement in the living conditions of their respective homes.
    Keywords: woorking poor; segmented labor markets; structural heterogeneity; labor informality; public policies
    JEL: J3 J4 O17
    Date: 2013–09

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