Energy Consumption as an Indicator of Hidden Economy: Comparative Analysis

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Abstract

Background: Hidden economy presents a major concern for all national economies, particularly for those of developing countries. Objectives: In this work, methods for determination of the size of hidden economy are discussed. Particular attention is devoted to the methods using electricity consumption as an indicator (the Lackó method and the Kaufmann and Kaliberda method). Methods/Approach: The modified Lackó method adapted for a single country and the sophisticated Kaufmann and Kaliberda method have been used. Results: It has been shown that such methods are effective in measurement of the hidden economy extent in small open economies exposed to severe external influences. The article presents results for Macedonia and their comparison with results for Croatia, as a good role-model for other states in Western Balkans. Conclusions: Model methods involving energy consumption are particularly efficient in determination of the size of the hidden economic sector in small open economies as those of the Western Balkan countries

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