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The Prevalence And Impacts Of ‘Envelope Wages’ In East–Central Europe

C. Williams, J. Round
Published 2008 · Economics

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ABSTRACT To evaluate the prevalence and impacts of the illegitimate wage practice where employers pay formal employees both a declared wage and an additional undeclared ‘envelope wage’, a survey involving 10,171 interviews across 10 East–Central European nations is reported to evaluate its commonality and evidence from 313 interviews conducted in Moscow to analyse its impacts. Finding that 10% of employees were paid envelope wages during 2007 amounting on average to two-fifths of their gross wage, and that this arrangement has deleterious implications for both employees and the economy, the article concludes by discussing how it might be tackled.
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