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The Dark, and Independent, Side of the Italian Labour Market


  • Maurizio Bovi

    (Institute for Studies & Economic Analyses ISAE)


In many countries the shadow employment has a very high priority among policymakers. A new time series for this component of the labour market has been recently released by the Italian institute of statistics. Taken together they give the motivation and the occasion for a fresh analysis of the Italian labour market over the last two decades. The aim and the contribution of this paper is to highlight some stylised facts about the links between the two sides of the labour market, the dark and the regular. Results from “exhaustive” VAR/VEC models suggest that there are no connections (causal relationships, feedbacks, contemporaneous correlation) between these two time series. In this sense, we could correctly refer to the undeclared work as an “independent” side of the Italian labour market. I interpret these results as providing empirical support for the ineffectiveness of labour policies in converting black employment into regular one.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Bovi, 2005. "The Dark, and Independent, Side of the Italian Labour Market," Labor and Demography 0504003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0504003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
    2. Weeks, M. & Orne, C., 1999. "The Statistical Relationship between Bivariate and Multinomial Choice Models," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9912, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Sarmistha Pal, 2003. "How Much of the Gender Difference in Child School Enrolment Can Be Explained? Evidence from Rural India," HEW 0309004, EconWPA.
    4. Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2002. "The Joint Estimation of Child Participation in Schooling and Employment: Comparative Evidence from Three Continents," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 41-62.
    5. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
    6. Alec Fyfe & Frans Roselaers & Zafiris Tzannatos & Furio Rosati, 2003. "Understanding Children's Work: An Interagency Data and Research Cooperation Project," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 311-314, December.
    7. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
    8. Blunch,Niels-Hugo & Verner,Dorte, 2000. "Revisiting the link between poverty and child labor - the Ghanaian experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2488, The World Bank.
    9. Nielsen, H.S., 1998. "Child Labor and School Attendance: Two Joint Decisions," Papers 98-15, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
    10. Sonia Bhalotra, and Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "Child labor : what have we learnt?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 27872, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maurizio Bovi, 2005. "The Cyclical Behaviour of Shadow and Regular Employment," Labor and Demography 0507011, EconWPA.
    2. Simona Monteleone, 2014. "Economia sommersa: ULA irregolari in Italia dal 1980 al 2009," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 91-123.
    3. Maurizio Bovi, 2007. "National accounts, fiscal rules and fiscal policy. Mind the hidden gaps," ISAE Working Papers 76, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).

    More about this item


    Underground economy; VAR models; Dual labour market.;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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