nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2016‒12‒11
six papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Audit publicity and tax compliance: a quasi-natural experiment By Pietro Battiston; Denvil Duncan; Simona Gamba; Alessandro Santoro
  2. Tax Evasion and the Impact of International Regulation: A Summary of Empirical Results By Jakob Miethe; Helge Niesytka
  3. Export Tax and Tariff Evasion: Evidence of Misinvoicing in China-New Zealand Trade By Kuntal K. Das; Laura Meriluoto; Amy Rice
  4. The 'Informality Gap': Can Education Help Minorities Escape Informal Employment? Evidence from Peru By Delgado Montes, Juan Gabriel; Corrales, Javier; Singh, Prakarsh
  5. Sistema financiero, informalidad y evasión tributaria en el Perú By Lahura, Erick
  6. A Construção Social da Informalidade e da Semiformalidade no Brasil: uma proposta para o debate By Mauro Oddo Nogueira

  1. By: Pietro Battiston; Denvil Duncan; Simona Gamba; Alessandro Santoro
    Abstract: We use confidential data on Value Added Tax payments at the sector level, in two large Italian cities, to estimate the effect of audits publicity on tax compliance of local sellers. By employing a Difference-in-Differences identification strategy, we find that such publicity has a positive effect on fiscal declarations made shortly after. The results suggest that increasing awareness on future audits via the media can be an important instrument in the hands of tax authorities.
    Keywords: Tax evasion, Quasi-natural experiment, Audit publicity
    Date: 2016–07–12
  2. By: Jakob Miethe; Helge Niesytka
    Abstract: While combating tax evasion ranks highly on the international policy agenda and journalists are covering leak after leak, the economics profession at large has somewhat neglected the subject until recently. In the last years, however, a combination of better international financial data and ingenious identification strategies in several pioneering studies has made the subject popular in empirical economics. These contributions are summarized below.
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Kuntal K. Das (University of Canterbury); Laura Meriluoto (University of Canterbury); Amy Rice
    Abstract: The trade between New Zealand and China has grown rapidly after the signing of their free trade agreement, but it is difficult to gauge the exact growth in trade due to gross inconsistencies in the trade data provided by the two countries. We investigate the roles that tax and tariff evasion play in systematically explaining this discrepancy. We find that exports and imports are heavily underreported at the Chinese border to avoid having to pay China's value-added tax and import tariffs. We also find some evidence of underreporting of imports at the New Zealand border to avoid import tariffs.
    Keywords: Trade misinvoicing, Export VAT rebate, Tax evasion, Tariff evasion
    JEL: F14 F38
    Date: 2016–12–02
  4. By: Delgado Montes, Juan Gabriel (Amherst College); Corrales, Javier (Amherst College); Singh, Prakarsh (Amherst College)
    Abstract: Discrimination in formal labor markets can push discriminated groups into labor informality, where wages are lower and pensions scarce. In this paper, we explore whether education offsets discrimination by empowering discriminated groups to successfully compete for formal jobs. Specifically, we calculate the returns to education on formal employment for a discriminated group (indigenous Peruvians). We find that certain education levels –primary and tertiary–allow indigenous workers equal access to formal jobs. But, for indigenous workers with only secondary education, we find an "informality trap" where returns to secondary education are 6.7 percentage points lower, a difference larger than the net returns of primary education. We find that differences in education quality across districts, more than migration and industry-specific patterns, are the main drivers of this effect. These findings have policy implications suggesting improvements to quality are essential for secondary education to empower discriminated groups to successfully compete in labor markets.
    Keywords: exclusion, social security, informal labor markets, education, Latin America
    JEL: E26 J46 I26 H55 J71
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Lahura, Erick (Banco Central de Reserva del Perú)
    Abstract: Según el Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática, una unidad productiva se denomina informal si no está registrada en la administración tributaria. Este trabajo de investigación identifica a los informales que han adquirido al menos un crédito en el sistema financiero, describe su participación por entidad financiera y tipo de crédito, y estima el monto de evasión tributaria correspondiente. Para ello, se utilizó información de la administración tributaria y de los créditos otorgados por el sistema financiero. Los resultados muestran que a diciembre de 2014 había aproximadamente 1,8 millones de informales (aproximadamente 19 por ciento del total de deudores del sistema financiero) que tenían al menos un crédito en alguna entidad del sistema financiero, lo cual indica que existiría un margen importante para la ampliación de la base tributaria. También se encuentra que las Cajas Rurales, Edpymes y Financieras son las entidades con mayores tasas de informalidad, tanto en términos de número de clientes como de saldos de créditos. Además, los créditos obtenidos por los informales fueron otorgados principalmente por Financieras, Cajas Municipales y Bancos, mientras que los montos más importantes correspondieron a créditos para micro y pequeña empresa (Mypes), créditos de consumo y tarjetas de crédito. En términos de estabilidad financiera, estos resultados sugieren que sería prudencial vigilar y cuantificar la exposición al riesgo por informalidad en el sistema financiero. Finalmente, se estima que la evasión tributaria de los clientes informales del sistema financiero habría sido aproximadamente 0,7 por ciento del PBI en el año 2014.
    Date: 2016–12
  6. By: Mauro Oddo Nogueira
    Abstract: Este trabalho parte da premissa de que a dinâmica da construção da informalidade e da semiformalidade na economia brasileira não podem ser compreendidas a partir apenas dos fatos de natureza econômica. A estes somam-se, como codeterminantes, fatores de ordem histórica e cultural. A hipótese central deste trabalho é a de que a economia formal e a informal se articulam e complementam, a partir da semiformalidade, em um mesmo espaço econômico no qual o “jeitinho brasileiro” opera como instrumento responsável para atualização dos elementos de cada um desses espaços no contexto do outro. Assim, a informalidade não é, no caso brasileiro, um fenômeno eminentemente pernicioso que necessita ser “erradicado” para que o país possa reproduzir as trajetórias de desenvolvimento das nações centrais. É, antes, um fato da história e da cultura nacionais que é parte integrante e indissolúvel de sua ordem econômica e cuja “superação” somente será possível a partir de sua perfeita compreensão, aceitação e, a partir de então, da conformação de uma institucionalidade, de um aparato regulador, que dela se aproxime de modo que possa fazer parte do Estado de direito, assim como o é do Estado de fato. The current paper starts from the premise that the dynamic of the construction of informality and semiformality in the Brazilian economy cannot be understood simply from facts of economical nature. To these must be added, as codetermining, factors of historical and cultural order. The central hypothesis of this study is that formal and informal economies articulate and complement each other, through semiformality, in a single economic space in which the “Brazilian way of doing things” (jeitinho brasileiro) acts as the instrument responsible for the updating of the elements of said spaces in relation to one another. Thus, informality is not, in the Brazilian case, a necessarily pernicious phenomenon that must be “eradicated” so that the country can reproduce the development trajectories of central nations. It is, on the contrary, a fact of national history and culture, an integral and indissoluble part of its economic order and whose “overcoming” will only be possible from its perfect comprehension, acceptance and, only then, from the conformation of an institutionality, of a regulating apparatus, that comes close to this informality, so that it can be integrated in the rule of law, as it is of the real world.
    Date: 2016–10

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