TACKLING BOGUS SELF-EMPLOYMENT: SOME LESSONS FROM ROMANIA
Vol. Volume 22, Number 2 June/2017
Colin C. Williams & Ioana Alexandra Horodnic
In recent years, recognition that bogus self-employment is rapidly growing, not least because of the advent of what has been called the ‘gig,’ ‘sharing’ or ‘collaborative’ economy, has led governments to search for ways to tackle this form of dependent self-employment that is widely viewed as diminishing the quality of working conditions. Until now, however, there have been few ex-post evaluations of policy initiatives that seek to tackle this phenomenon. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide one of the first ex-post evaluations by examining the outcomes of a 2016 legislative initiative in Romania to tackle bogus self-employment. Reporting both descriptive statistics and OLS regression analysis on monthly official data from August 2014 to August 2016, the finding is that while other business types and waged employment rates followed a similar trend to the years before the introduction of the new legislation, the number of self-employed started a negative trend after the new legislation was announced. After controlling for other indicators related to the economy (i.e. GDP) and labor market (i.e. employees, other companies, vacancy rates), the impact of the new legislation on the self-employed remains negative, offering reasonable grounds for assuming bogus self-employed was lowered by the new legislation. The paper concludes by discussing the wider implications of these findings.
: Self-employment; bogus self-employment; informal economy; sharing economy; gig economy; Romania.