Shadow Economies Around the World: New Results for 158 Countries Over 1991-2015
30 Pages Posted: 11 May 2017
Date Written: April 10, 2017
Using the MIMIC method, this paper is a first attempt to estimate the size of the shadow economy of 158 countries over the period 1991 up to 2015. In addition to performing a variety of robustness tests, this paper explicitly addresses endogeneity concerns to the use of GDP as cause and indicator, by using the light intensity approach as an indicator variable as proxy for the size of the economy. Results suggest that the average size of the shadow economy of these 158 countries over 1991-2015 is 32.5% of official GDP, which was 34.82% in 1991 and decreased to 30.66% in 2015.
Keywords: shadow economies of 158 countries, MIMIC estimations, the light intensity approach, tax burden, regulation, trade openness, corruption
JEL Classification: C390, C510, C820, H110, H260, U170
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