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  • Author: Adnan S. Efendic x
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Abstract

This article offers an empirical analysis of determinants of inflation in 28 European economies that belonged to the transition group of countries in the end of the last century. We rely on dynamic panel methodology and find that economic and structural variables, including economic openness, unemployment, real wages, institutional effects, as well as external factors, such as prices of food and oil, determine the short-run inflationary dynamics in these countries. The obtained results also indicate that inflation rate is autoregressive in the observed period (2005-2015), confirming that contemporaneous inflation rate is determined by the entire history of these determinants. Our further investigation reveals long- term effects of the majority of these variables on price dynamics. Interestingly, distinction between the current EU and transition countries in the model does not lead to different conclusions.

Abstract

This paper explores the size of the informal economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) over the period 1998- 2016, based on an indirect method of measurement known as the MIMIC approach (Multiple Input Multiple Causes). As the underlying determinants of the informal economy in BiH we include tax burden, the level of unemployment, the size of the agricultural sector and the level of government subsidies. We estimate that the average size of the informal economy for the observed period was 34% of GDP, with the largest percentage in 1998 (43%) and the smallest in 2009 and 2016 (30%). There is a modest decreasing trend in the size of the informal economy over time. Our model identifies two structural brakes over the observed period. The first is positive and is linked to the introduction of the value added tax in 2006 (a decrease in 2007-2009 follows). The second captures a short-run negative effect of the latest global economic crisis in 2009 (an increase between 2010-2011). To further asses these results and check their consistency with available primary data, we investigate the size of the undeclared work, assess tax morality and the additional income of families coming from informal sector. These indicators provide consistent results with those of the MIMIC approach.

Abstract

This paper provides insights into the informal economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), a post--conflict transition economy in the Western Balkan region aspiring to became part of the European Union. After the introductory section and literature review, we introduce the economic outlook of BiH and then provide evidence estimating the size of the informal economy, which is identified to be around 30% over the last couple of years. As the size of the informal economy is high and persistent, this implies that current policy approaches are not efficient in tackling this economic challenge. To understand how the informal economy operates in practice, we use data from two different surveys to assess tax morality, undeclared work and the structure of the participants in the informal economy. In the next section, we supplement the study with ethnographic insights. In particular, we identify how participants in the informal economy use it for different purposes and with different motives. This includes reliance on the informal economy as a survival strategy for households, as a way to supplement insufficient formal income, to compensate for economic insecurity, or to decrease costs of formal business by using “envelope wage” practices, but equally importantly to overcome formal institutional rigidities linked to current contradictory laws. Still, we find indications that the growth of informal business is converging to formalisation, as informality at some stages of business development becomes a burden to higher entrepreneurial growth aspirations.