SHADOW ECONOMY IN POPULATION ASSESSMENTS:

METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES AND BASIC RESULTS

Emilia Chengelova

Abstract

This article describes the experience of one of the Bulgarian team working on the study of shadow economic activities. In summary, the article presents basic methodological approaches, the system of empirical indicators, main hypotheses, instruments and especially the methodological challenges in studying the image of the gray economy in Bulgaria among the population. By analyzing the results of the survey, the article sets out some critical examination of the sociological perspective problems. One of the emphases is on public attitudes towards the informal economy - very hesitant, lacking internal coherence, unstable on the formation factors and highly susceptible to manipulation. Special attention is paid to the elucidation of the dominant attitudes in public opinion to tolerate the very existence of informal economy. Although individuals recognize the social costs of informal economic sector, under circumstances of crisis are ready to go to serious compromises and in the name of individual survival declare a high tendency to turn gray in practice.