Development of the shadow economy of 36 OECD countries over 2003 - 2021: Due to the corona pandemic a Strong increase in 2020 and a modest decline in 2021


Dr. Dr. (HC Mult) Friedrich Schneider*

Considering the development of the shadow economy of all 36 OECD countries over 2003 to 2021 and the effect of the Corona pandemic on 2020 and 2021 the average size of the shadow economy of all 36 OECD Countries strongly increased from 14.98 percentage points in 2019 to 16.48 percentage points in 2020 a rise of 1.5 percentage points or 11%. Due to an expected forecasted economic recovery the shadow economy will slightly decrease in 2021 to 16.07 percentage points (average of all 36 countries); a modest reduction of 0.42 percentage points. The most important policy conclusion is the decline of the shadow economy will only be a blessing for the whole economy, if incentive orientated policy measures will be applied.

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