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Assessing the Relation between the Underground Economy and Irregular Migration in Italy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-122
Number of pages21
JournalThe International Spectator (Istituto Affari Internazionali)
Issue number2
Early online date22 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


King's Authors


A number of studies show the importance of the underground economy in defining the dynamics of migratory flows to southern European countries. A very high number of foreign-born workers are employed in the underground economy in Italy. However, by no means has the informal economy in the country been created by migrants. Instead, the opposite is true. Research demonstrates that it is precisely because the underground economy provides a wealth of employment opportunities that there is a strong incentive for migrants to access southern European countries, especially Italy, despite the difficulties in gaining regular migration status.

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