Orsi, R., Raggi, D., and F. Turino
Review of Economic Dynamics – 17.3 (2014), 417-436

Keywords: DSGE, Underground Economy, Tax Evasion, Bayesian

Abstract: We study the underground economy in a dynamic and stochastic general equilibrium framework. Our model combines limited tax enforcement withan otherwise standard two-sector neoclassical stochastic growth model. The Bayesian estimation of the model based on Italian data provides evidence in favor of an important underground sector in Italy, with a size that has steadily increased over the whole sample period. We show that this pattern is due to a persistent increase in taxation. Fiscal policy experiments suggest that a moderate tax cut, along with a stronger effort in the monitoring process, causes a sensitive reduction in the size of the underground economy and positive stimulus to the regular sector that jointly increase the total fiscal revenues.