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Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy Dataset

Authors:Daniel Kaufmann
Non-Bank Author:Simon Johnson and Pablo Zoido-Lobaton
Web Address:Macroeconomics and Growth
Topics:Governance and Macroeconomic & Economic Growth

Kaufman, Daniel and Simon Johnson and Pablo Zoido-Lobaton.  "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy", American Economic Review (1998)

Johnson, Kaufmann, and Shleifer (1997) find that the share of the unofficial economy in GDP is determined by the extent of control rights held by politicians and bureaucrats in post-communist economies. Exploring in more detail the role of bribes and using a broader data set from the OECD, Latin America, and transition economies, we find that the unofficial economy accounts for a larger share of GDP when there is more corruption and when the rule of law is weaker. While these findings are consistent with the earlier results for transition economies, in the larger country sample we find it is not necessarily the case that more regulation or higher taxes directly increases the size of the unofficial economy. The problem appears to be not regulation or taxation per se, but whether the state administrative system can operate without corruption. A high level of regulatory discretion helps create the potential for corruption and drive firms into the unofficial economy.

This file contains the data set used in the above mentioned paper. It includes different measures of regulation, taxation, legal environment, and corruption, and it covers about 50 countries over the period mid-1990s. Please refer to the readme file for a more detailed description. The data file is in coma delimited format.

Data sets are provided in two compressed formats: as a self-extracting exe file and as a zip file. Both files contain the same information.

The data sets included with some of the published articles and working papers are provided in two compressed formats: as a self-extracting exe file and as a zip file. Please note that the exe file and the zip file for a particular data set contain identical information; there is no need to download both files.

Exe files are self-extracting DOS/Windows files. To open them, double click on the file name in Windows or type the name of the file at the C: prompt in DOS.

Zip files are compressed files which are not self-extracting. To open them, you will need an unzipping utility such as Winzip (for Windows) or Stuffit Expander (for Windows and Macintosh).

Access to Dataset
  • Dataset (zipped file, 17.5kb)

  • Dataset (zipped, self extracting file, 43kb)

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