Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries

Author(s) : Friedman, E.; Johnson, Simon; Kaufmann, Daniel; Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo

Imprint : 2000

Collation : p. 459-493

Series : Journal of Public Economics, 76, 3

Across 69 countries, higher tax rates are associated with less unofficial activity as a percentage of GDP, but corruption is associated with more unofficial activity. Entrepreneurs go underground, not to avoid official taxes but to reduce the burden of bureaucracy and corruption. Dodging the 'grabbing hand' in this way reduces tax revenues as a percentage of both official and total GDP. As a result, corrupt governments become small governments and only relatively uncorrupt governments can sustain high taxes.

  • Anti-corruption strategies, Legal framework, Corruption, Economic and social development, Educational management, Central administration