Date Added: Aug 2010
Informality is a wide-spread phenomenon across the globe. The authors show that firms in countries with better information sharing systems and greater financial sector outreach evade taxes to a lesser degree, an effect that is stronger for smaller firms, firms in smaller cities and towns, and firms in industries relying more on external financing, with higher liquidity needs and with greater growth potential. However, it is variation in firm size that dominates firm variation in location and industry variation in explaining cross-firm and cross-country variation in tax evasion. This effect is robust to controlling for an array of other measures of the financial and institutional environment firms face.