Calls for papers


International Journal of Economics and Business Research
International Journal of Economics and Business Research


ICIB 2019/2020: Special Issue Title: "Foreign Direct Investment and the Shadow Economy in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis"

Guest Editors:
Dr. Vasileios Vlachos, Prof. Aristidis Bitzenis and Prof. John Marangos, University of Macedonia, Greece

Several European Commission Notes have focused on transferring activities from the informal to the formal economy for the fulfilment of the employment targets of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs (for example, see European Commission 2014). The shadow economy (Muller et al., 2013: 18-19) is the part of the informal economy which (under certain conditions) can be transferred to the formal economy. The importance of transferring activities from the shadow economy to the formal economy is also emphasised as a mean to promote economic growth and create additional fiscal space in countries of the European Union (EU) severely hit by the late (2007-2008) global financial and economic crisis, such as Greece (Bitzenis et al. 2016).

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is considered by several studies as a means to promote economic growth and has contributed to the remarkable growth of EU economies hit by the late crisis, such as Ireland. Several studies have focused on FDI determinants and impact during and after the late crisis (Bitzenis and Vlachos, 2016; Vlachos and Bitzenis, 2018) because the investment rate in the EU still remains below its pre-crisis average and recovers at a slow pace.

This special issue aims to fill a gap in the literature by attracting papers that investigate the links between these two phenomena. Although researchers have studied at the macro level how the size of the shadow economy in the host economy relative to the investor economy can affect FDI attractiveness (Ali and Bohara 2017) and the relation between the shadow economy and FDI through the host economy’s institutional quality (Baklouti and Boujelbene 2018; Lee et al. 2018), there is still a gap in the literature regarding the performance and relation of multinationals with activities in the shadow economy.

The Guest Editors will be inviting substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at International Conference on International Business (ICIB) 2019 and 2020 for review and potential publication, but are also inviting other experts to submit articles for this call.

Ali, M. & Bohara, A.K. (2017) How does FDI respond to the size of shadow economy: An empirical analysis under a gravity model setting. International Economic Journal, 31 (2), pp. 159-178.
Baklouti, N. and Boujelbene, Y. (2018). A simultaneous equation model of economic growth and shadow economy: Is there a difference between the developed and developing countries? Economic Change and Restructuring,
Bitzenis, A. and Vlachos, V.A. (2016). Foreign direct investment in the light of the recent crisis. Global Business and Economics Review, 18 (2): 115-123.
Bitzenis, A., Vlachos, V.A. and Schneider, F. (2016). An exploration of the Greek shadow economy: Can its transfer to the official economy provide economic relief amid the crisis? Journal of Economic Issues, 50 (1), pp. 165-196.
European Commission Brussels, 9.4.2014 SWD(2014) 137 final.
Lee, M., Alba, J.D. and Park, D. (2018). Intellectual property rights, informal economy, and FDI into developing countries. Journal of Policy Modeling, 40 (5), pp. pp. 1067-1081.
Muller, P., Conlon, G., Lewis, M. and Mantovani, I. (2013). From Shadow to Formal Economy: Levelling the Playing Field in the Single Market (Study prepared by the Directorate General for Internal Policies for the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection). Available at (accessed 23 April 2019).
Vlachos, V.A. and Bitzenis, A. (2018). The (reinvigorating) role of foreign direct investment after the crisis. Journal of East-West Business, 24 (3), 139-143.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • The changing geography of FDI in the EU after the crisis in relation to the size of the shadow economy
  • The role of the shadow economy (and activities in the shadow economy) vis-à-vis other factors discouraging inward FDI
  • Decisive FDI determinants in countries with large shadow economies
  • Impact of FDI in countries with large shadow economies
  • The contribution of FDI in economic/political/social transformation and the size of the shadow economy and (activities in the shadow economy) of EU members and EU candidates before and after the crisis
  • Determinants of informal activities of multinational and domestic enterprises across time and space and during times of economic crisis
  • Informal activities of multinational and domestic enterprises and economic performance
  • The impact of formal and informal institutions on formal/informal activities of multinational and domestic enterprises

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 30 June, 2020

Notification to authors: 30 September, 2020

Final versions due by: 30 November, 2020