Eliminating Undeclared Work: Beyond a Deterrence Approach

Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 32, No. 5, pp. 435-449, 2005

15 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2013

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

Viewing undeclared work as market-like activity conducted for monetary gain, and participation as a rational economic decision, the widespread public policy response has been to seek to deter engagement in such work by ensuring that the expected cost of being caught and punished is greater than the economic benefit of participating. Reviewing recent research, it is revealed that although some undeclared work is market-like and conducted for unadulterated economic reasons, a large proportion is carried out under relations and for motives more akin to unpaid mutual aid, especially in deprived populations. Evaluating the implications of this finding for a deterrence approach, the argument is that rather than simply seek to eliminate such paid mutual aid through deterrence, a more refined approach is required that combines deterrence with initiatives to facilitate the legitimisation of such work. How this might be achieved is then outlined.

Keywords: informal economy, informal sector, informal employment, hidden economy, shadow economy, underground sector, public policy, tax evasion, tax compliance, economics, temporary workers, crimes

JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31, K42

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Windebank, Jan E., Eliminating Undeclared Work: Beyond a Deterrence Approach (2005). Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 32, No. 5, pp. 435-449, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290752

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French ( email )

United Kingdom
(0114) 222 4888 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shef.ac.uk/french/staff/jwindebank.html

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