When institutional asymmetry exists nevertheless, work in the undeclared economy prevails. As such, the greater the asymmetry between formal and informal institutions, the more prevalent is work in the undeclared economy [ 56 - 60 ]. Few, if any, extensive cross-national surveys have been conducted that examine who participates in undeclared work and thus test the validity of the marginality thesis in relation to urban populations.
Here, therefore, we turn attention to a data-set which begins to fill this major gap. To evaluate the validity of the dominant marginality thesis, we here use the Special Eurobarometer No. Using the same sampling method as other Eurobarometer surveys, 27, face-to-face interviews were undertaken during April and May in all 28 member states of the European Union, with some conducted in smaller countries and 1, in larger nations. In every country, a multi-stage random probability sampling methodology was used which ensure that on the issues of gender, age, region and whether it is an urban or rural area, the sample was proportionate to the distribution of the population in each country.
Some 17, face-to-face interviews were thus conducted with people living in urban areas. This population is here the focus of our analysis. In the descriptive analysis below, we use the sampling weighting scheme as suggested by the literature [ 61 - 63 ].
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In the multivariate analysis nonetheless, there is debate over whether to do so or not [ 61 - 64 ]. Given that the majority opinion is that the weighting scheme should not be used, we here decided not to do so for the multivariate analysis. The face-to-face interviews were in the national language with adults aged 15 years and older. The interviews built rapport with the participants before posing the more sensitive questions, starting off with questions about their attitudes towards the undeclared economy, followed by questions on which goods and services had been purchased on an undeclared basis by them.
Only after this were questions put regarding their own participation in undeclared work. Examining the responses of the interviewers about their perceived reliability of the interviews conducted, cooperation of the respondents was deemed bad in just 1. Cooperation was said to be excellent in Given this, attention can turn to an analysis of the results. To do this, we here use multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression analysis. The independent variables used to analyse whether marginalised populations are more likely to participate in undeclared work are divided into socio-demographic, socio-economic and spatial variables and are as follows:.
We kept in the analysis only the individuals for which data on each and every independent variable is available. Below, we report the findings. As Table 1 displays, 4 per cent of the respondents who live in urban areas reported that they had undertaken work in the undeclared economy over the past year, which is 1 in 25 of the citizens surveyed who will in urban areas in the 28 member states of the European Union EU To evaluate the marginality thesis, Fig.
The finding is that the countries in which urban inhabitants are most likely to engage in undeclared work are Estonia where 13 per cent of urban dwellers had engaged in undeclared work in the prior 12 months , Latvia 11 per cent and the Netherlands 10 per cent. At the opposite end, the countries with the lowest participation rate in undeclared work are Malta with less than 1 per cent , Ireland 1 per cent and Cyprus, Italy and Portugal 2 per cent.
As such, the marginality thesis does not appear to hold at the European regional level in the sense that urban dwellers in the less affluent European regions do not appear to have higher participation rates in undeclared work than urban dwellers in the affluent European regions. Turning to whether the marginality thesis applies on a socio-demographic, socio-economic and spatial level, Table 1 displays some mixed results.
Contrary to the marginality thesis, participation in undeclared work is higher amongst urban men than urban women 5 per cent of urban men participated over the past 12 months compared with 3 per cent of urban women and women earn less than men in urban areas from such work i. Furthermore, the unemployed in urban areas are no more likely to participate in undeclared work than the employed and even when they do, their earnings are 76 per cent the amount earned by the employed. Neither do respondents living in small or middle sized towns participate in undeclared work to a greater extent than respondents living in large urban areas.
The tentative suggestion from these descriptive statistics therefore, is that the marginality thesis does not apply when discussing gender, employment status and urban settlement size. For all these population groups, the marginality thesis appears to be valid. Analysing the descriptive statistics therefore, the tentative conclusion is that it is not possible to assert that the marginality thesis is universally applicable at all spatial scales and across all socio-demographic and socio-economic groups.
We here analyse the hypothesis that participation in undeclared work significantly varies according to individual socio-demographic, socio-economic and spatial characteristics when other variables are taken into account and held constant. Given the hierarchical structure of the data i.
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As the dependent variable is dichotomous, we use a multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression [ 65 ]. Indeed, the likelihood-ratio test for the null hypothesis that there are no variations in participation in undeclared work reports that this hypothesis can be safely rejected. Therefore, the multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression should be the one used.
To analyse the association between the various independent variables and participation in undeclared work when other variables are held constant, an additive model is used. The first stage model M1 includes solely the socio-demographic factors to examine their association, while the second stage model M2 adds socio-economic factors alongside the socio-demographic factors, and the third stage model M3 adds spatial factors to the socio-demographic and socio-economic factors to examine their association with the participation in undeclared work in urban Europe.
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Table 2 reports the results. Model 1 in Table 2 shows that the marginality thesis is valid when analysing various socio-demographic disparities in participation rates in undeclared work among urban dwellers.
Not only are younger urban dwellers significantly more likely to participate in undeclared work, doubtless due to their greater exclusion from the formal labour market [ 12 ], but so too are those urban inhabitants more tolerant of undeclared work and holding non-conformist attitudes towards tax compliance, providing some support for the institutional theory explanation discussed above.
That is, those marginalised in urban areas in the sense that their norms, values and beliefs regarding undeclared work do not conform to those of the formal institutions are more likely to participate in such work [ 66 , 67 ]. Contrary to the marginality thesis however, urban men are significantly more likely to participate in undeclared work than urban women and so too are those urban inhabitants living in a single person household compared with those living in larger urban households.
No significant correlation with participation in undeclared work is found when analysing the presence of children in urban household and the marital status of urban dwellers. As such, when considering the socio-demographic variables, the finding is that a variegated understanding of the validity of the marginality thesis is required. The marginality thesis is valid in relation to some marginal groups such as younger urban people and those with non-conformist attitudes , but not others such as urban women and single person urban households.
The results are in line with other previous studies [ 68 - 70 ]. When Model 2 adds the socio-economic factors of employment status and financial circumstances people face to the socio-demographic variables, there are no major changes to the association of the socio-demographic variables with participation in undeclared work.
Those socio-demographic characteristics statistically significant in Model 1 remain the same. However, the additional finding is that those urban dwellers with financial difficulties are significantly more likely to participate in undeclared work than those with fewer financial difficulties, thus providing support for the marginality thesis. However, no significant association with participation in undeclared work is found when analysing the employment status of urban inhabitants.
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When spatial factors are added in Model 3, the association of the socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics remain as discussed above. However, although there is no evidence to support the marginality thesis when those living in small urban areas are compared with those living in larger urban areas, those urban inhabitants living in the more affluent EU region of the Nordic nations are more likely to participate in undeclared work than those urban dwellers living in Western Europe, and those urban inhabitants living in Southern Europe are less likely.
As such, there is no support for the marginality thesis when considering the town size divide and European regional variations. At a European regional level therefore, there appears to be support for the view that undeclared work is not a substitute for the declared economy. Rather, undeclared work appears to be more prevalent in economies where the declared economy is stronger, not least because more money is in circulation that can be used to purchase goods and services from undeclared work.
To evaluate the marginality thesis, the results of a survey of participation in undeclared work in urban areas in the 28 member states of the European Union. Using multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression analysis, this has revealed support for the marginality thesis in relation to some groups. Younger urban dwellers are significantly more likely to engage in undeclared work as are those who are more tolerant of undeclared work who are marginalised in the sense that their values and attitudes do not conform to those of the codes, regulations and laws of the formal institutions and those who have difficulties paying household bills.
Contrary to the marginality thesis meanwhile, urban men are found to be significantly more likely to work undeclared than urban women, as are those living in urban areas in the more affluent EU region of the Nordic nations. No significant relationship exists however, so far as the marital status, the presence of children in the household or the town size is concerned. Examining the theoretical implications of these findings, the outcome is that a variegated interpretation of the marginality thesis is required when analysing urban Europe.
The marginality thesis applies when examining some socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics such as their age, tax morality and household financial circumstances. However, when gender, household size and regional variations are analysed, the marginality thesis is negated, and indeed reinforces the gender and European regional disparities found in the declared economy.
When other characteristics are analysed moreover, such as the town size, marital status and the presence of children, no significant relationship with undeclared work is found in urban Europe. What is now required is to evaluate whether the findings are similar when examining urban areas in other global regions, especially in developing countries, and urban areas in particular nations, as well as rural areas.
Turning to the policy implications, the first important consequence is that these results display the specific spaces and populations that need targeting when seeking to tackle undeclared work in urban Europe. In recent years for example, there has been an emphasis in the European Union on targeting poorer EU regions such as East-Central and Southern Europe when allocating resources through European structural funds to tackling undeclared work [ 12 , 71 ].
However, this paper reveals that urban areas in these poorer EU regions are not disproportionately engaged in undeclared work. Indeed, urban areas in affluent European regions have significantly higher participation rates, suggesting the need for a rethinking of the spatial allocation of European funds for tackling the urban undeclared economy.
Although this survey reveals that it is inappropriate to target some marginal populations when tackling undeclared work such as urban women, people living in small sized towns, and urban inhabitants in less affluent EU regions , it displays that it may be worthwhile targeting other marginal population groups such as younger urban dwellers, single-person urban households and those with household financial difficulties. This analysis, in other words, provides a useful risk assessment of the different marginal urban populations to enable an evaluation of the validity of the currently targeted populations.
In sum, this paper has revealed for the first time the need for a more nuanced approach towards the marginality thesis in the urban areas of the European Union. If this paper thus stimulates the emergence of a more variegated understanding of the validity of the marginality thesis in relation to urban Europe, then it will have fulfilled its objective.
If it also encourages a deeper investigation of the policy implications of this more nuanced understanding, not least in terms of the urban populations being targeted by the authorities when tackling the urban undeclared economy and how resources are allocated, then it will have fulfilled its wider intention. Hashem Akbari was born in Iran.
He received his Ph. He became a U.