Quantifying the Size and Development of the Shadow Economy in Swaziland

The size of the shadow economy has been declining at a slow rate over the past 16 years in Swaziland. The size of the shadow economy was found to be 37.4 % in 2016. This was equivalent to E20.5 billion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016. The key drives of the shadow economy in Swaziland were found to be the tax burden (direct and indirect taxation), self-employment, the importance of the agricultural sector and the institutional quality of governance institutions. For the country to fast tract its developmental agenda (Vision 2022), it is important for the country to enact policies that will harness and transition the shadow economy into the mainstream economy by targeting the drivers of the shadow economy locally.