What is it about?

This paper tests competing hypotheses on the relationship between marginalization and participation in undeclared work. The ‘marginalization’ thesis views undeclared work as conducted primarily by marginalized populations among which young, unemployed and economically fragile people dominate. A competing ‘reinforcement’ thesis argues that undeclared work is conducted disproportionately by those in declared jobs and thus that the undeclared economy reinforces, rather than reduces, the inequalities produced by the declared economy. To evaluate who engages in undeclared work and to test these competing theses, data is reported from a 2015 survey of 6,021 randomly selected adult respondents in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Why is it important?

Reporting the marginal effects of a Probit regression analysis, the finding is that marginalized groups (the unemployed, younger age groups, those with fewer years in formal education, lower-income households, rural populations and those from poorer regions) are all significantly more likely to participate in undeclared work. The implications for theory and policy are discussed, along with the limitations of the study and future research required.


Shows which marginal groups work on an undeclared basis and which do not.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Evaluating the relationship between marginalization and participation in undeclared work: lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, May 2021, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/14683857.2021.1928419.
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