Explaining Cross-National Variations in the Prevalence and Character of Undeclared Employment in the European Union

European Spatial Research and Policy, 2014, Vol. 21, No.2, pp. 115-132.

17 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The aim of this article is to evaluate the competing theories that variously explain the greater prevalence of undeclared employment in some countries either as: a legacy of under-development; a result of the voluntary exit from declared employment due to the high taxes, state corruption and burdensome regulations and controls, or a product of a lack of state intervention in work and welfare which leads to the exclusion of workers from the declared economy and state welfare provision. Analyzing the cross-national variations in the prevalence of, and reasons for, undeclared employment across the European Union using evidence from a 2007 Eurobarometer survey, the finding is that undeclared employment is less prevalent and more of the voluntary variety in wealthier, less corrupt and more equal societies possessing higher levels of social protection and redistribution via social transfers. The theoretical and policy implications are then discussed.

Keywords: informal sector, undeclared work, shadow economy, neo-liberalism, European Union

JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17, P2, P3

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin, Explaining Cross-National Variations in the Prevalence and Character of Undeclared Employment in the European Union (2014). European Spatial Research and Policy, 2014, Vol. 21, No.2, pp. 115-132., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708442

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

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