Active Ageing and Shadow Economy in Romania. An Empirical Causality Analysis

Adriana AnaMaria DAVIDESCU


The paper aims to analyze the unidirectional relationship from active ageing phenomena to the size of the Romanian shadow economy in order to see if the unofficial sector represents a social buffer for older workers who have lower labor market opportunities. In order to do that, we applied two important causality analyses, Granger and Toda-Yamamoto, based on quarterly data over the period 2000-2010. The size of the Romanian shadow economy was previously estimated using a revised version of the currency demand approach based on autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach. For active ageing, the employment rate for older workers was used as proxy. The cointegration empirical results highlight the existence of a positive long-run relationship between employment rate of elderly and unofficial sector. The empirical causality results conclude that there is a unidirectional Granger causality that runs from employment rate of older workers to shadow economy both on long-run and short-run. The empirical results of Toda-Yamamoto revealed the absence of a short-run causal relationship from employment rate for older workers to the size of shadow economy. One possible explanation for the existence of a positive relationship that runs from employment rate of elderly to unofficial sector can be the low capacity of the economy to generate proper jobs, so this age group of older workers does not have qualifications that meet the needs of formal economy, and therefore shadow economy becomes an alternative to formal work and it may provide a buffer for some workers who have few alternative labor market opportunities. Another alternative could be the fact that this age group of elderly remains occupied in the formal lab our market, but with low earnings and they work in informal activities in order to supplement their income.

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