An easy and popular method for measuring the size of the underground economy is to use macro-data such as money demand or electricity demand to infer what the legitimate economy needs, and then to attribute the remaining consumption to the underground economy. Such inferences rely on the stability of parameters of the demand equations, or at very least on knowledge of how these parameters are changing. We show that the pace of change of these parameters (such as velocity) is too variable in transition economies for the above methods of estimating the size of the underground economy to be applicable.
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