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Cyclicality of fiscal policy and the shadow economy


A survey of recent literature on cyclical properties of fiscal policy reveals that fiscal policy is procyclical in many developing countries whereas it is countercyclical in developed ones. However, there is no consensus on what drives the difference in this specific cyclical property of fiscal policy. Using cross-section and panel data sets for 78 countries we document that procyclicality of fiscal policy is more pronounced in countries with a larger size of the shadow economy. We also show that policies reducing the size of the shadow economy lead to a less (more) procyclical (countercyclical) fiscal response to shocks.

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Correspondence to Ceyhun Elgin.

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Çiçek, D., Elgin, C. Cyclicality of fiscal policy and the shadow economy. Empir Econ 41, 725–737 (2011).

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  • Fiscal policy
  • Informal sector
  • Cyclicality

JEL Classification

  • E26
  • H30