This paper is the first attempt to directly explore the long-run nonlinear relationship between the
shadow economy and level of development. Using a dataset of 158 countries over the period from
1996 to 2015, our results reveal a robust U-shaped relationship between the shadow economy size
and GDP per capita. Our results imply that the shadow economy tends to increase when economic
development surpasses a given threshold or at least does not disappear. Our findings suggest that
special attention should be given to the country’s level of development when designing policies to
tackle issues related to the shadow economy.
Statistics indicate that the economic and social development of women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) compares unfavorably with most regions in the world. This paper assesses the influence of government expenditure and taxation policies on the economic and social welfare of women in the region. On the expenditure side, we test the explanatory power of public social spending in the determination of key female social indicators. We find that the relatively weak social outcomes for MENA women are not explained by the amount of government social spending, suggesting the answer lies in the efficiency and reach of present spending. With respect to taxation, the main issues in the literature on gender bias in taxation are highlighted and applied in a general manner to the MENA context. Some simple policy recommendations are suggested.