Cross-National Variations in Undeclared Work: Results from a Survey of 27 European Countries
International Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol. 2, no.2, pp. 46-63, 2008
18 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 12, 2008
Until now, those seeking to undertake a cross-national comparison of undeclared work have had to rely on tenuous proxy indicators, such as the amount of cash in circulation or the amount of electricity consumed, due to the absence of direct survey evidence. In 2007, however, the first cross-national survey of the extent and nature of undeclared work was undertaken with 26,659 face-to-face interviews conducted in 27 European Union member states. Evaluating its findings, this paper charts not only the marked crossnational variations in the level of participation in undeclared work but also the contrasting character of undeclared work in different regions and countries as well as how suppliers and consumers’ motives for participating in undeclared work vary cross-nationally. The outcome is a fresh understanding of the extent and nature of undeclared work in the EU that is very different to the picture painted previously by those relying on indirect surrogate indicators.
Keywords: economy, cash-in-hand work, underground economy, tax compliance, European Union.
JEL Classification: D51, H26, H31, O17, R20, Z13.
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