Shadow economies under the volcano ash cloud

PhD student Catalina Granda-Carvajal (advisor, prof. Zimmermann) has been invited to present last week in an international workshop in Germany, “Shadow Economy, Tax Policy and Labor Markets in International Comparison: Options for Economic Policy“. This workshop was held at the University of Potsdam, near Berlin, with the aim to demonstrate advances in the analysis of shadow economic activity and discuss how these can be used for better economic policies. Granda’s paper, entitled “The Unofficial Economy and the Business Cycle: A Test for Theories”, uses official data to establish a set of business cycle features and study how they vary across countries with the size of the unofficial sector, and compares these empirical regularities with the predictions of existing theories on macroeconomic fluctuations in economies featuring underground activities.

After having the chance to exchange ideas with young scholars and with some of the world experts in the field, Granda has been faced with the uncertainty imposed by the volcanic ash cloud in Iceland. Being stuck in Berlin has not been an easy situation; however, she reports “I have spent some time sightseeing, visiting museums and, overall, taking advantage of such a ‘forced tourism’. With plenty of history while trying to stand as a leader in arts and promoting Western values, now I understand why this city is one of the most exciting places in Europe. All in all, I cannot complain, but I cannot wait for the flight back to Storrs to share with my friends and colleagues how this experience has enriched my life and view of things.”