Synthesis documents

Shadow Economies of 145 Countries: Estimation Results 1999-2003

    This paper presents estimates of the size and development of the shadow economy for 145 countries, including developing, transition and highly developed OECD economies over the period 1999 to 2003. The average size of the shadow economy as a percent of "official" GDP in 2003/03 in 96 developing countries was 38.7%, in 25 transition countries 40.1%, in 21 OECD countries 16.3% and in 3 Communist countries 22.3%. An increased burden of taxation and social security contributions, combined with labor market regulation are the driving forces of the shadow economy.