Huffpost Business

Freakonomics: Shadow Economy Is Second Largest in The World

Posted: Updated:
SHADOW ECONOMY
Agents from the Analysis and Antinarcotics Division (DAIA, for its abbreviation in Spanish), part of the National Civil Police, stand guard besides a shipment of 1,690 kgs of cocaine that were seized inside a container last September 20 coming from Honduras, in Guatemala City on September 21, 2009. The shadow economy is the world's second largest. | Getty

By Freakonomics:

In 2009, the OECD concluded that half the world's workers (almost 1.8 billion people) were employed in the shadow economy. By 2020, the OECD predicts the shadow economy will employ two-thirds of the world's workers. This new economy even has a name: "System D."

In a new article (accompanying photoessay here) for Foreign Policy, Robert Neuwirth explains:

System D is a slang phrase pirated from French-speaking Africa and the Caribbean. The French have a word that they often use to describe particularly effective and motivated people. They call them debrouillards. To say a man is a debrouillard is to tell people how resourceful and ingenious he is. The former French colonies have sculpted this word to their own social and economic reality.

Read the entire post here, or more Freakonomics content below:

- Read more from Freakonomics here:

- How Far Along Are We Towards Reducing Healthcare Spending?

- The Pricing Strategy Of Omelets

Around the Web

America's 'shadow economy' is bigger than you think - and growing ...

Shadow Economies on the Rise Around the World - BusinessWeek

Greece's shadow economy raises fresh fears - Telegraph

Freakonomics » System D: The Shadow Economy is the Second ...

Rise of the Shadow Economy: Second Largest Economy in the World

Shadow Government: Cuba's smoke-and-mirror reforms