We develop a general theoretical model to compare two different policymakers both facing tax evasion. Policymakers differs in that they aim to maximize either the fiscal revenues ( $$T$$ ) as in a social-democracy as, e.g., Sweden, or the GDP as in a capitalistic country as, e.g., the USA. Both Bureaus can manoeuvre the tax rate and the share of tax receipts spent to fight the tax evasion rather than to increase the public capital. Our model merges the indications of two distinct, and sometimes conflicting, approaches to the analysis of tax evasion in that reconciling them. We also find that the feedbacks between the private and public sector are linked to some Laffer-type relationships usually unexplored by the existing literature. As compared to capitalistic systems, then, our results show that social-democracies end up imposing higher tax rates and, possibly, more pervasive regulations. Consequently, they are likely to suffer from larger tax-evasion-to-GDP ratios. This notwithstanding, social-democracies spend relatively more to contrast tax dodgers. On the other hand, $$T$$ -maximizing governments have better institutional settings and greater employment rates. Whichever the preferred target, however, no policymaker is able to erase totally the tax evasion, which may explain why this latter is so pervasive and persistent even among the richest countries.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: May 3, 2013
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