The Essence and Significance of the Shadow Economy in the European Union Member Countries

  • Piotr Misztal The Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce
Keywords: shadow economy; informal economy; undeclared activity


The shadow economy is a diverse concept and encompasses a series of phenomena whose common feature is the fact that it is beyond the control of the state. The complexity of the definition of the shadow economy also has its consequences, among others in its proper measurement and creating precise mechanisms aimed at combating it. The underground economy is constantly changing and adapting to current market conditions. In particular, the latest changes in the ways of working and business models, the development of the digital economy, wider social changes and globalization make new activities appear in the shadow economy and some existing ones expand their intensity and scope. They can create new social problems and may potentially undermine tax compliance in a wider scope. Therefore, the aim of this publication is to diagnose the main areas of activity in the shadow economy, with simultaneous indication of the causes and economic effects of its functioning and to determine the importance of the shadow economy in the EU member states.


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