Economic growth and unemployment exhibit an ambiguous relationship, according to empirical studies. This ambiguity can be investigated by observing the role of the underground economy in shaping the productivity of firms. Indeed, unemployment may be absorbed by underground firms, which adopt backward technology, at the cost of reduced economic growth. Alternatively, unemployment diminishes because productivity grows by employing workers who prefer to become skilled, and thus not to work in underground firms. This paper develops these arguments by using a matching model with underground firms and heterogeneous entrepreneurial ability, and by assuming skills-driven growth. Economic growth thus becomes endogenous, and both the underground sector and unemployment become persistent. The main result is that, under conditions of strict monitoring of the regularity of firms, the underground economy is squeezed, unemployment is reduced, and growth is high, whereas in the case of lax monitoring, the underground economy expands, unemployment is absorbed, and growth is low.

A matching model of endogenous growth and underground firms

LISI, Gaetano;PUGNO, Maurizio
2015

Abstract

Economic growth and unemployment exhibit an ambiguous relationship, according to empirical studies. This ambiguity can be investigated by observing the role of the underground economy in shaping the productivity of firms. Indeed, unemployment may be absorbed by underground firms, which adopt backward technology, at the cost of reduced economic growth. Alternatively, unemployment diminishes because productivity grows by employing workers who prefer to become skilled, and thus not to work in underground firms. This paper develops these arguments by using a matching model with underground firms and heterogeneous entrepreneurial ability, and by assuming skills-driven growth. Economic growth thus becomes endogenous, and both the underground sector and unemployment become persistent. The main result is that, under conditions of strict monitoring of the regularity of firms, the underground economy is squeezed, unemployment is reduced, and growth is high, whereas in the case of lax monitoring, the underground economy expands, unemployment is absorbed, and growth is low.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
International Journal of Economic Theory 11 (2015) 347–369 © IAET.pdf

non disponibili

Descrizione: Articolo principale
Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: DRM non definito
Dimensione 193.73 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
193.73 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/52048
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
social impact