Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mediterranean Salt

A few days ago I read this tweet (in Dutch) from @saskiadekkers. It was about the increasing informal economy in Portugal. No tax is paid for 1/4 of Portugal's GNP.
A lot? Typical of the countries in the South of Europe? I don't know. I was wondering if there is a correlation/connection between the financial crisis in Europe (starting around 2008) and the amount of ‘informal economy’ in a country. I collated some online data I collected to give an answer to this question.
The picture is pretty clear. In the South the economy is more informal and there is more corruption. In the North it's less. France and USA both belong to the northern way of behavior.
Question 'Is there a correlation between the amount of informal economy and the present day interest rates for Government bonds'? Answer: YES! The more informal the economy the more a country has to pay for the 10 year notes. Mark again the difference between the South and North of Europe. 
Mark that in the picture above Greece is a special case. If the correlation is 1 we would expect an interest rate between 5 and 7. The present day interest rate (34,36%) for Greece is rare. 

France is (partly) a southern country - if we look at the map - but in the pictures above it's 'clair' that they belong to the northern way of behavior and are treated alike for what they have to pay for their 10 year bonds. 

"Vada a bordo, cazzo!" (English 'Go on board, dick') Says who?
Sources for data: (a) informal economy; (b) corruption; (c) interest rates 2012-01-18 10:48:34; interest rates Turkey 2012-01-18

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