Elsevier recently announced that an article by Rangan Gupta (IDEAS) in the Journal of Economics and Business was among the most downloaded on its site. Tax evasion and financial repression was one of the chapters of his UConn PhD dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Zimmermann (IDEAS).
Using an overlapping generation model, Gupta studies how tax evasion interacts with financial repression, as expressed by a high reserve deposit ratio requirement in banks. Applied to southern European countries, he finds that a higher degree of tax evasion, resulting from lower penalty rates and higher corruption, produces in a social optimum higher degrees of financial repression. However, higher degrees of tax evasion, due to lower tax rates, tend to reduce the optimal degree of financial repression. Thus, there are asymmetries in the relationship between reserve requirements and tax evasion. More importantly, tax evasion and financial repression are positively correlated if and only if the change in the former results from an alteration in the penalty rate or the level of corruption.