Journal of Scientific Papers


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ISSN 2071-789X

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  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

  • Membership:

    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




Identifying the envelope wages phenomenon based on LFS and SES data sets – evidence from Poland

Vol. 16, No 4, 2023

Wojciech Grabowski


University of Łódź,

Łódź, Poland


ORCID 0000-0002-6707-3736


Identifying the envelope wages phenomenon based on LFS and SES data sets – evidence from Poland


Karol Korczak


University of Łódź,

Łódź, Poland


ORCID 0000-0003-1936-1423


Abstract. This paper deals with the problem of identifying envelope wages based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Structure of Earnings Survey (SES). The research samples have been adjusted so that the distribution of individuals in both databases is the same. The maximum likelihood method is used and the parameters of multilevel models that explain wages are estimated. Theoretical wages for selected workers groups are calculated. Based on differences between the theoretical wages of individuals from the LFS and SES databases, a measure associated with envelope wages is calculated. The novelty of this study lies in providing a new method for evaluating the phenomenon of envelope wages. The analysis indicates that various features of the employees and enterprises significantly affect the propensity to receive an envelope wage. This propensity is also strongly determined by affiliation to a NACE section. Regional differentiation of the propensity to receive envelope wages was also identified. This problem is urgent in light of the negative demographic tendencies in Poland and similar countries of the Central and Eastern Europe that lead to an intensified competition for employees. However, cost competition does not allow for significant increases of labour costs. Therefore, fiscal authorities in Poland and similar countries should rethink their taxation policies.


Received: March, 2023

1st Revision: November, 2023

Accepted: December, 2023


DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2023/16-4/6

JEL ClassificationC50, J01, C21

Keywords: microeconometrics, mixed-effects model, simulations