Digital Shadow Economy – Literature Review

  • Dan-Andrei Coca PhD Student, Ștefan cel Mare University, Suceava
  • Andreea Nistor PhD Student, Ștefan cel Mare University of Suceava
Keywords: Digital shadow economy, digital shadow trade, electronic transactions, illegal e-business, illegal e-traders, shadow economy


The virtual environment is a phenomenon that has grown exponentially in recent years, changing the way the economy evolves. Through e-commerce, social media platforms, online stores, or websites, financial resources are rolled both legally and illegally. Thus, some transactions are not accounted for or taxed, and also the concept of the digital shadow economy, defined as economic shadow activities conducted in electronic space, with no physical contact is increasingly present today. This paper aims to review and systematically analyze, through bibliometric analysis, using the Web of Science scientific platform and the VOSviewer software, the notion of digital shadow economy, determining the current state of knowledge in the field. Also, a comparative research was performed between digital shadow economy and the traditional shadow economy. The main findings reveal that digital shadow economy has a novelty character that refers to an economy based on digitized services and products, which escapes the official estimates of the GDP and the main research tendencies concern the conceptualization of the term and its main activity channels, aspects that distinguish it from traditional shadow economy. Furthermore, a thematic cluster, containing links to the digital shadow economy term can be noticed to be around cybercrimes.


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How to Cite
Coca, D.-A., & Nistor, A. (2022). Digital Shadow Economy – Literature Review. LUMEN Proceedings, 17, 121-130.