Journal section "Regional economics"

Shadow Economy in Russia: Economic and Statistical Assessment of Its Scale and the Ways of Its Reduction in the Country and Regions

Berkovich M.I., Shurygin A.A.

Volume 14, Issue 5, 2021

Berkovich M.I., Shurygin A.A. Shadow economy in Russia: Economic and statistical assessment of its scale and the ways of its reduction in the country and regions. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2021, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 70–84. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2021.5.77.4

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2021.5.77.4

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The shadow economy is one of the most complex socio-economic phenomena in almost any state. The shadow economy, which has become an integral structural element of an economic system, has a diverse and sometimes ambiguous impact on it. The nature and assessment of this phenomenon and the ways to deal with it have been in the focus of attention of scientists, government authorities, trade unions, and economic entities for a long time. Having reviewed the definitions of the shadow (underground) economy that are suggested by modern domestic and foreign sources, we consider this phenomenon as an economic activity of actors that are hidden from the influence of state control. In this regard, we can highlight the following priority areas of research: identification of factors that have a significant impact on the volume and nature of the shadow economy, development of measures to overcome it, and search for more adequate quantitative methods for its assessment at different levels of public administration. Of particular interest is the regional aspect of the shadow economy, which is not given due attention in publications. The article presents an attempt to compensate for this lack of attention. The aim of the work is to assess the scale of the shadow economy nationwide and in Russia’s individual constituent entities on the basis of generalization of the methods applied and with the use of official statistical information of all-Russian agencies: the Federal State Statistics Service, the Federal Tax Service and their regional offices. Scientific novelty of the study lies in adjusting the traditional approach to the assessment of the shadow economy by the tax method, which consists in eliminating the amount of depreciation deductions from the indicators of gross profit of the economy and gross mixed income. The proposed method has been tested on the economy of Russia and several regions of the Central Federal District. We have revealed significant differences in the estimation of the scale of this phenomenon if various calculation methods are used. We review a set of measures aimed at reducing hidden income at the federal and regional levels, taking into account the current socio-economic situation complicated by the coronavirus pandemic


regional economy, meso-level, shadow economy, indirect methods, hidden income, macro-level

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