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Tackling the illegitimate under-reporting of salaries in Southeast Europe: some lessons from a 2015 survey in Bulgaria, Croatia and FYR Macedonia

Author

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  • Colin C. WILLIAMS

    (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)

  • Josip FRANIC

    (Institute of Public Finance, Zagreb, Croatia)

Abstract

To tackle the illegitimate employer practice of under-reporting salaries, the conventional deterrence policy approach seeks to increase the penalties and risk of detection. Recently, however, calls have been made for a new more indirect approach that enhances tax morale so as to nurture a culture of self-regulation. The aim of this paper is to evaluate these two policy approaches. Reporting evidence from 6,019 face-to-face interviews conducted in Bulgaria, Croatia and FYR Macedonia in 2015, logit regression analysis reveals no association between salary under-reporting and the perceived level of penalties and risk of detection, but a strong association between salary under-reporting and the level of tax morale. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the findings for theory and policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin C. WILLIAMS & Josip FRANIC, 2017. "Tackling the illegitimate under-reporting of salaries in Southeast Europe: some lessons from a 2015 survey in Bulgaria, Croatia and FYR Macedonia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 8, pages 5-28, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jes:journl:y:2017:v:8:p:5-28
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    File URL: http://ejes.uaic.ro/articles/EJES2017_0801_WIL.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Josip FRANIC, 2020. "Why workers engage in quasi-formal employment? Some lessons from Croatia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 11, pages 94-112, December.
    2. Josip Franić, 2019. "Explaining workers’ role in illegitimate wage underreporting practice: Evidence from the European Union," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 30(3), pages 366-381, September.
    3. Bejaković Predrag & Bezeredi Slavko, 2019. "Determinants of Tax Morale in Croatia: an Ordered Logit Model," Business Systems Research, Sciendo, vol. 10(2), pages 37-48, September.
    4. Ioana Alexandra HORODNIC & Colin C WILLIAMS & Rodica IANOLE-CÄ‚LIN, 2020. "Does higher cash-in-hand income motivate young people to engage in under-declared employment?," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 11, pages 48-69, December.

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