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Shadows: CRISP is tackling Undeclared Work in the European Union

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The Cluster for Research on the Informal Sector and Policy (CRISP), based in the Management School, has reinforced its standing as the world’s largest group of researchers studying the informal sector with a major Marie Curie grant.

The €200,000 project will see a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Dr Ioana A Horodnic from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi in Romania, spend two years with CRISP under the supervision of Prof Colin C Williams (pictured above).

Prof Williams said: “Paid transactions that are not declared to the state for tax, social security and/or labour law purposes when they should be declared, equal some 33 per cent of official GDP globally. As such, tackling undeclared economy has become a core issue on the policy agendas of supra-national agencies and governments. CRISP is pioneering research in this area.”

There are two policy approaches to tackling undeclared work: a ‘rational economic actor’ approach that ensures that payoff from undeclared work is not outweighed by the costs; and a ‘social actor’ approach grounded in a view that undeclared work arises when tax morale is low.

Prof Williams continued: “This Marie Curie Fellowship aims to advance knowledge, by evaluating not only the effectiveness of using each approach to reduce undeclared work across the European Union, but also by developing a fresh re-theorization of tackling undeclared work and, for the first time, analysing the interaction effects between these two approaches. The outcome will be to greatly increase understanding of the undeclared economy and provide policy relevant results.”

This project will further advance the world-leading reputation of CRISP which, in collaboration with North American private sector consultancy, ICF International, has recently secured a €5.6million, four-year contract from the European Commission to provide the expert services to the European Platform for Tackling Undeclared Work.

Find out more about CRISP here: www.sheffield.ac.uk/woerrc/crisp

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