Evaluating cross-national variations in envelope wage payments in East-Central Europe

  • Colin C Williams
  • Economic and Industrial Democracy, October 2013, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0143831x13505120

What is it about?

This article seeks to explain the cross-national variations in the tendency of employers to under-declare salaries by paying formal employees an undeclared (‘envelope’) wage in addition to their official declared salary.

Why is it important?

Analysing the prevalence, size and nature of envelope wage payments across ten East-Central European countries using data from a 2007 Eurobarometer survey, envelope wage payments are found to be less common, smaller and more likely to be for extra work in wealthier, less corrupt and more equal nations with higher levels of taxation, social protection and effective redistribution via social transfers. The theoretical and policy implications are then discussed.


Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

Examines distribution of under-declared employment in Eastern and Central Europe

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Colin C Williams