Determinants of Shadow Economy. A Bibliometric Approach

Determinantes da Economia Sombra. Uma Abordagem Bibliométrica


  • Sandra Clement
  • Eugenia Ramona Mara
  • Monica Violeta Achim
  • Mihaela Postea



Shadow economy, Informal economy, Bibliometric Approach


This paper performs a systematic literature review on the shadow economy and its determinants based on a bibliometric approach. Based on VosViewer and Web of Science, we identified various drivers of the shadow economy that we clustered into three categories: (1) economic factors, (2) political and institutional variables, and (3) social factors. In the last decades, the increasing role of social factors is significant for the flourish of the shadow economy. This analysis underpins the importance of recent shadow economy determinants such as immigration, cybercrime, happiness, culture, education, and religion – not enough studied and subjected to the public attention. It turns out that the determinants of the shadow economy depend not only on economic and political aspects such as unemployment, foreign direct investment, tax burden, or even the quality of government but also on social aspects such as happiness, culture, inequality, and religion. Based on these findings, the regulation of the shadow economy must be started by governments with reconsidering the measures and taking into account the social aspects, which can be a possible key to restrain this phenomenon. It is obvious that not all social drivers can be influenced by the government, but they can be promoted and deliberately focused with the help of grants or different social programs.


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Como Citar

Clement, S., Mara, E. R., Achim, M. V., & Postea, M. (2023). Determinants of Shadow Economy. A Bibliometric Approach: Determinantes da Economia Sombra. Uma Abordagem Bibliométrica. Brazilian Journal of Business, 5(2), 828–846.