Greece is World Champion in Shadow Economy, at 21.5% of GDP

More than one in five euro notes changing hands in Greece is not recorded, as shadow economy amounts to 21.5% of gross domestic product, according to a study by the Institute for Applied Economic Research, at the University of Tübingen.

Greece is the leader among developed nations where shadow economy thrives. In percentage of GDP, it stands at 21.5, followed by Italy with 19.8. Spain come third at 1.2% of GDP.

Shadow economy is consisted of transactions between individuals, or individuals and businesses, without being registered.

It includes bribes to state officials, merchandise bought and sold in cash with no records showing, businesses and individuals providing goods and services without issuing receipts, money not declared for taxation and so on.

Shadow economy, which Greeks call “black money”, can range from paying a baby sitter in cash, or waiters not declaring their tips, to illegal arms sales and money laundering.