Gabriela PRELIPCEAN, Anamaria BUCACIUC, Corneliu Sorin BAICU


Both social economy and informal economy define complex economic phenomena, multifaceted, which generated multiple platform debate and analysis among economists, sociologists and lawyers. Perspectives on these concepts are the most diverse and present work attempts to link these views to find common denominators, but also the elements that differentiate them. Official social economy interacts with the informal economy through the initial use of capital and generating links between different forms of capital. Underground economy is based more on use of illicit and immoral capital, while the development of a formal social require networks of trust, reciprocal links with other groups and institutions, social and economic relations that are based on values and norms recognized by society. The interplay of social economy - informal economy is manifested either through a transition from the sphere of the informal (unofficial) to formal (official) or by maintaining and emphasizing underground activities as a result of using illegal or informal social networks and social capital already existing. From the perspective of this study, social economy-binomial informal economy should be seen as: a) mediating factor between the official and unofficial; b) factor of influence to ensure a legal and institutional framework apt to limit and discourage underground activities; c) factor of transition from the informal economy to the social economy.


social economy, social entrerprises, informal economy, transition strategies, connection (interaction) social economy-informal economy


Amin, A. (2009). Locating the social economy. In A. Amin (Ed.), The Social Economy: International Perspectives on Economic Solidarity (pp. 3–21). New York: Zed Books Ltd.

Baicu, C.-S., & Corbu, L.-C. (2016). Economic freedom - a vector of transition from the informal to the formal economy. Centre for European Studies Working Papers, 8(1), 20–32. doi:10.1080/14782804.2012.752950

Chen, M. A. (2006). Rethinking the informal economy: Linkages with the formal economy and the formal regulatory environment. Linking the Formal and Informal Economy: Concepts and Policies, (46). doi:10.1093/0199204764.003.0005

CIRIEC, I. C. of R. and I. on the P. S. and C. E. (2007). The Social Economy in the European Union. Bruxelles. Retrieved from

Defourny, J. (2004). Social Enterprise in an Enlarged Europe: Concept and Realities. EMES Europen Research Network.

Ditton, J., & Brown, R. (1981). Why Don’t They Revolt? “Invisible Income” as a Neglected Dimension of Runciman’s Relative Deprivation Thesis. The British Journal of Sociology, 32(4), 521–530.

Enste, D. (2015). The shadow economy in industrial countries. IZA World of Labor, (February), 1–10. doi:10.15185/izawol.127

European Commission. (2003). The Contribution of Social Capital in the Social Economy to Local Economic Development in Western Europe.

Evans, M., Syrett, S., & Williams, C. (2006). Informal Economic Activities and Deprived Neighbourhoods. London. Retrieved from

Frey, B. S., & Schneider, F. (2001). Informal and Underground Economics. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 11, 7441–7446. doi:10.1016/b0-08-043076-7/02295-6

Gaughan, J. P., & Ferman, L. A. (1987). Towards understanding the informal economy. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 493, 15–25. Retrieved from

Gershuny, J. I., & Pahl, R. E. (1979). Work outside employment: some preliminary speculations. Higher Education Quarterly, 34(1), 120–135. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2273.1979.tb01252.x

Henry, S. (1982). The working unemployed: perspectives on the informal economy and unemployment. The Sociological Review, 30(3), 460–477. doi:10.1111/j.1467-954X.1982.tb00663.x

Henry, S., & Sills, S. (2006). Informal economic activity: Early thinking, conceptual shifts, continuing patterns and persistent issues - A Michigan study. Crime, Law and Social Change, 45(4-5), 263–284. doi:10.1007/s10611-006-9036-2

International Labour Office Geneva. (2014). Transitioning from the informal to the formal economy.

Lippens, R., & Ponsaers, P. (2006). Re-visiting the informal economy: Introductory notes. Crime, Law and Social Change, 45(4-5), 259–261. doi:10.1007/s10611-006-9035-3

Lowenthal, M. (1975). The social economy in urban working class communities. In G.Gappert & H. M. Rose (Eds.), The Social Economy of Cities (pp. 441–469). Newbury Park: Sage.

Pahl, R. E. (1987). Does Jobless Mean Workless ? Unemployment and Informal Work. American Academy of Political and Social Science, 493, 36–46.

Palmer, R. (2007). Formalizing the Informal Economy: Best Practices? Enero, 39, 38–41. Retrieved from

Papp, M. (2011). Social Economy, as a Special Section of the Informal Economy in the Northern Great Plains Region of Hungary. Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Social Analysis, 1(1), 47–65.

Pearce, J. (2003). Social Enterprise in Anytown. (C. G. Foundation, Ed.). London.

Prelipcean, G., Bucaciuc, A., & Boscoianu, M. (2016). Dynamic Capabilities for the Development of Romanian Social Enterprises ( RSE ) – Support and Synergies with the New Legislation System. In R. Laratta (Ed.), Social Enterprise. InTech Europe (Forthcoming).

Sommers, J. (1990). Divisions of Labour R. E. Pahl 1984 Basil Blackwell: Oxford. Anthropology of Work Review, XI(2), 16–18. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004

Stack, C. B. (1974). All our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community. New York: Harper and Row.

Stoumann, J. (2007). Moving Out of the Shadow Economy. Tools and Methods for an Inclusive Entrepreneurship Approach Moving Out of the Shadow Economy. Copenhagen.

Vlasceanu, M. (2010). Economie sociala si antreprenoriat. O analiza a sectorului nonprofit. Polirom.

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.