Recognizing the profound significance of the problem to countries in Southeast Europe, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in Bulgaria and the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) in Macedonia have started an initiative to monitor and analyze the hidden economy and to outline actions for curbing its negative implications in Macedonia. CSD and CPRM seek to introduce evidence-based tools for monitoring and awareness raising for tackling the hidden economy in Macedonia, based on the experience CSD has acquired in monitoring and fighting the hidden economy in Bulgaria for more than 10 years. The purpose of the current review is to outline recent leading research and best international practices in monitoring the hidden economy. The compilation of articles summarizes the most recent activities in countering the hidden economy in the EU and beyond. Understanding current research and policy work on the hidden economy will help Macedonian government, practitioners, and civil society to better understand its nature and implications for development on national and local level in Macedonia. This introduction makes a brief review of the prevailing understating and definitions of the hidden economy, ways of measuring it, and concludes with a summary review of the articles included in the reader.
The current reader aims to aid Macedonian policy-makers and other stakeholders to better understand, monitor, and tackle the hidden economy and its negative consequences on society and the economy, and in particular on the most vulnerable groups. It brings together the best recent academic knowledge on the hidden economy compiled and adapted to address the needs of the local constituency in Macedonia. The reader tries to serve as a helpful reference tool as well as a source of ideas and recommendations for action.