nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
four papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Formalizing the Romanian informal waste sector: how interested are informal recyclers? By Stefan Gabriel BURCEA
  2. Financing Small and Medium Enterprises in China: Recent Trends and Prospects beyond Shadow Banking By Kellee Tsai
  3. The Political Economy of State Capitalism and Shadow Banking in China By Kellee Tsai
  4. Improving VAT compliance – random awards for tax compliance By Jonas Fooken; Thomas Hemmelgarn; Benedikt Herrmann

  1. By: Stefan Gabriel BURCEA (Bucharest University of Economic Studies)
    Abstract: The problem of informal sector formalization is a real challenge for any national economy, mostly if it is from a South-East European country like Romania. The formalization of waste management informal activities involves a pragmatic assessment of wide social, cultural and behavioral issues, especially since the majority of waste pickers, scavengers or informal recyclers belong to various categories of vulnerable groups. But how satisfied are these people in their activity? Does informal recyclers intent to formalize their work? How are these people concerned to formalize their activities? How receptive are informal recyclers if they would provide the opportunity to work with an official employment contract? How willing are informal waste recyclers to quit social benefits? Do informal recyclers want to be part of officially waste management system? The author tries to find answers to all these questions by assessing the informal recyclers interest about the existing possibilities of formalization, mostly for vulnerable persons involved in informal collection and recycling of waste recoverable materials. Studying the behavior and expectations of informal recyclers is made through formal and informal research tools like questionnaire-based survey, semi-structured interviews, informal discussions with waste pickers and analysis of relevant documents in the field. The final purpose of the study is to identify the real perception of informal waste recyclers related to opportunity of their informal work integration in the officially waste management system and evaluate their believes regarding formalizing process advantages and limits.
    Keywords: informal waste sector, waste management, informal recyclers, vulnerable groups
    JEL: I39 L38
  2. By: Kellee Tsai (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Division of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represent the backbone of China's economy, yet they lack access to bank credit. SMEs thus rely on a wide range of alternative sources, including informal finance, online peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms, registered non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs), and underground financiers. This paper distinguishes among different types of 'shadow banking' to clarify popular misconceptions about the nature of risks associated with informal financial intermediation in China. The evolution of SME finance in other contexts suggests that regulated and well-managed NBFCs provide an enduring foundation for commercialised financial intermediation even in advanced industrialised economies.
    Keywords: China, shadow banking, informal finance, financial development
    JEL: G23 G21 O17
    Date: 2015–05
  3. By: Kellee Tsai (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Division of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: The Xi-Li administration faces the dual challenge of managing state capitalism and shadow banking as China enters a phase of more moderate economic growth. During China's first three decades of reform, private sector development occurred in parallel with prioritization of state-owned enterprises in strategic industries, and growth surged. This pattern of state capitalism rested on an unarticulated bifurcated financing arrangement whereby the formal banking system primarily served public enterprises, while private businesses relied primarily on informal finance. However, China's response to global financial crisis disrupted the preceding equilibrium of financial dualism under state capitalism. Unprecedented expansion of bank lending after 2008 created opportunities for a host of state economic actors- including SOEs, state banks, and local governments—to expand their participation in offbalance sheet activities.
    Keywords: China, state capitalism, informal finance, shadow banking, financial development
    JEL: G23 G21 O17 P16 P26
    Date: 2015–05
  4. By: Jonas Fooken (European Commission – Joint Research Center); Thomas Hemmelgarn (European Commission); Benedikt Herrmann (European Commission – Joint Research Center)
    Abstract: The use of receipt-based tax lotteries to increase (VAT) tax compliance has been of growing interest amongst EU Member States. Some countries have introduced such lottery schemes, namely Malta in 1997, Slovakia in 2013 and Portugal in 2014. Others have been intrigued about the possibility of introducing a lottery. The use of tax lotteries also has a history outside of Europe, notably in Taiwan since the 1950s. While there is growing interest in the use of tax lotteries throughout Europe, the understanding of best practises and success factors, is still limited. Therefore, this workshop brought together countries with experience and those interested in running tax lotteries. TAXUD and the JRC in this context coordinated, establishing a platform for discussion amongst the Member States. This report summarises the workshop, following a pyramidal approach. In the following section the motivation and elements of the workshop are summarised briefly.
    Keywords: behavioural economic, tax compliance, tax lotteries
    JEL: D03 H26 H41
    Date: 2015–01

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