Current PhD student Catalina Granda-Carvajal (advisor Prof. Zimmermann) has recently published an article in the International Economic Journal. The last issue of this journal features a selection of the papers presented at the conference ‘Shadow Economy, Tax Policy and the Labor Markets in an International Comparison: Options for Economic Policy.’ This conference was held in Germany at the University of Potsdam last April, where Granda-Carvajal participated with the paper entitled ‘The Unofficial Economy and the Business Cycle: A Test for Theories.’ In this paper, she attempts to establish how the features of the business cycle vary across countries with the size of the unofficial sector. Granda-Carvajal confirms that countries with a large shadow economy exhibit higher volatility in major macroeconomic variables such as output, consumption and investment. Also, she shows that unemployment tends to be more countercyclical, while employment and hours behave as more procyclical the smaller is the unofficial economy. She concludes that much more needs to be done in order to understand the implications of shadow activities on macroeconomic performance, as standard models of the shadow economy do not imply such behavior for aggregate variables.

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