Public Policy Innovations: The Case of Undeclared Work
Management Decision, 2013, Vol. 51, No. 6, pp. 1161-1175.
15 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2013
For many decades, European national governments sought to stamp out undeclared work using a repressive approach. In the changing economic context of declining employment participation rates, however, the European Commission has called for a new approach to transform undeclared work into declared work. This necessitates public policy innovations. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the degree to which this European Commission call for policy innovation has been adopted by European national governments.
To evaluate this, the results are reported of an e-survey conducted in 2010 of 104 senior stakeholders from government departments, trade unions and employer organisations in 31 European countries, and 24 follow-up in-depth interviews.
The finding is that although European nations have responded to the changing economic context and the resultant call by the European Commission for a new approach by adopting an array of innovative new policy measures to facilitate the declaration of undeclared work, stamping out such endeavour through repression measures remains the principal approach in most nations.
Until now, few studies have evaluated critically the different policy approaches adopted by European national governments to tackle undeclared work. This paper fills that gap. Practical Implications
This paper reveals that if undeclared jobs are to be transformed into declared jobs and economic inclusion promoted, national governments will need to accord more priority to innovative new policy measures to legitimise declared work than is currently the case.
This is the first critical evaluation of whether the European Commission call for innovative new policy measures when tackling undeclared work has been implemented.
Keywords: undeclared work; shadow economy; hidden economy; informal economy, public policy, European Union, innovation, public sector management, tax compliance
JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17, P2, P3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation