Vo Tri Thanh* The unobserved economy is not a recent phenomenon, so not a new concept. Concern about the influence of unmeasured economic activities has been growing since the beginning of the 20th century. Back in 1914, economist Helfferich K. took the underground economy into account when estimating the size of Germany’s national income for 1888-1913. Broesterhuizen G.A.A.M., in his paper, “The unobserved economy and the national accounts of the Netherlands”, in 1982 investigated the possible distortion of officially measured GDP caused by fraud by using sensitivity analysis. The International Monetary Fund published a working paper in January 2018 which measured the shadow economy of 158 countries all over the world from 1991 to 2015 by using different methods. The paper showed that the average size of the shadow economy of the 158 countries was 31.9 per cent, with the largest being Bolivia (62.3 per cent of GDP) and the smallest being Switzerland (7.2 per cent). According to the paper, the average size of Viet Nam’s shadow economy in the 1991-2015 period was 18.7 per cent. Despite using different definitions and different methods to estimate the size of the unobserved economies, theses researches and studies show statistics are an important… Read full this story
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