Shadow economy in a turbulent environment: evidence from Poland

Author:Bogdan Mróz
Position:Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland
Pages:328-339
SUMMARY

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical insight into the functioning of the informal sector in Poland and highlight the reasons for involvement of economic agents in the new forms of the shadow economy. Design/methodology/approach The paper is focused on the analysis of different manifestations of unregistered economic activities in Poland. The author draws... (see full summary)

 
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Shadow economy in a
turbulent environment: evidence
from Poland
Bogdan Mr
oz
Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical insight into the functioning of the informal sector
in Poland and highlight the reasons for involvement of economic agents in the new forms of the shadow economy.
Design/methodology/approach The paper is focused on the analysis of different manifestations of
unregistered economic activities in Poland. The author draws upon the latest available research ndings on the
subject including shadow economy estimates. Finally, the case study analysis of the tobacco industry in Poland
has been used to exemplify and highlight the driving forces conducive to theexpansion of the informal sector.
Findings The informal sectors share of the Polish economy in the years 2010-2015was put as ranging
between 12.1per cent gross domestic product (GDP) and 14.5 per cent GDP (with the peak in 2013)by the GUS
(Polish Main Statistical Ofce),between 19.2 per cent GDP and 21.1 per cent GDP by the IBnGR think tank
(peak in 2012)and between 23.3 per cent and 25.4 per cent GDPby Professor F. Schneider.
Research limitations/implications The case study of the tobacco industry, although well illustrates
the dynamics of the shadow economy,does not provide a comprehensive picture of the Polands informal sector.
Practical implications The paper providestips and recommendations aimed at reducingthe size of the
shadow economy.
Social implications Reducing the size of the informal sector could strengthenthe social integrity and
cohesion.
Originality/value The paper providesinsight into new areas and manifestations of the shadoweconomy
in Poland exempliedby the case study of the tobacco industry.
Keywords Poland, Tax evasion, Shadow economy, Undeclared work, Tax avoidance,
Informal labour market
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
The shadow economy, presentwith varying intensity in many countries across the globe, is
estimated by experts to rank as the worlds second largest economy, after the USA. With a
combined employment of 1.8 billion,it produces US$10 trillion worth of goods and services,
or 16 per cent of the global GDP, thus reducing global tax revenues by at least $2 billion
(Zieli
nski, 2012).
These gures highlight the magnitude of the problems posed by the existence and
expansion of the shadow economy, which is also referred to as unofcial, informal or non-
observed. Not only does it challenge the ethical norms, it also generates huge losses for
many national budgets and distorts competition in modern economies, functioning as they
are in an unstable, frenzied environment. This, too, is patently true of the Polish economy
which having joined the EU is now more strongly integrated with Europe,but which is
JEL classication H0, H26, O17
JMLC
21,3
328
Journalof Money Laundering
Control
Vol.21 No. 3, 2018
pp. 328-339
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1368-5201
DOI 10.1108/JMLC-08-2017-0034
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1368-5201.htm

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