PublicationWorking Papers

Tax Evasion, Technology Shocks and the Cyclicality of Government Revenues

Judith Panadés Martí

Social Sciences > Economics, Public Policy

This working paper analyzes the behavior of tax revenue (the ratio of tax revenue to gross domestic product [GDP]) throughout the business cycle. In order to replicate empirical evidence, we develop a simple model combining the standard Ak growth model with the tax evasion phenomenon. When individuals conceal part of their true income from the tax authority, they face the risk of being audited and, hence, of paying the corresponding fine.

In this setup, the effect of a positive technological shock on the government revenue to output ratio is fully characterized by the value of intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES). In particular, under the empirically plausible assumption that the IES exhibits a sufficiently small value, we show that the elasticity of government revenue with respect to output is larger than one, which agrees with the empirical evidence