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In Argentina, a ñoqui (English: gnocchi) is a person who is legally registered as a worker, usually for the government, and receives a monthly wage, but who performs little or no work.[1] Such individuals are called ñoquis because many Argentines traditionally eat gnocchi on the 29th day of every month, around the time when people receive their monthly paychecks.[2]

People may hold ñoqui positions for several reasons. Some are the recipients of political favors, while others work to promote the government's agenda instead of performing their nominal duties. Still others are disabled or continue to receive paychecks by mistake, such as the dead, retired, or those who have moved on to other positions.[3][4]

A 2015 study by KPMG estimated that 5 to 7 percent of Argentine public sector employees were ñoquis, which would be more than 200,000 individuals each receiving an average monthly salary of 8000 pesos.[3]


Upon taking office as mayor of Buenos Aires in 2007, Mauricio Macri fired 2,400 city employees who he claimed were ñoquis. This action led to strikes and conflict with the city's unions.[5][6]


  1. ^ La Ciudad tiene una web para denunciar a empleados "ñoquis" (in Spanish)
  2. ^ Long, William R. (8 March 1992). "Argentina Struggles to Cut Huge Bureaucracy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Uriel, Paula (22 December 2015). "Ñoquis en el Estado: hay 4 millones de empleados públicos, de los cuales entre el 5% y 7% serían "fantasma"". La Nación. Retrieved 22 December 2015.  (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Mancini, Pablo (12 March 2008). "Ñoquis digitales: el nuevo invento del Gobierno para financiar la militancia". Perfil. Retrieved 22 December 2015.  (in Spanish)
  5. ^ Prengaman, Peter (16 April 2015). "A leading candidate in Argentina would overhaul economy". Associated Press. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "Politics - The Argentina Independent | The Argentina Independent". The Argentina Independent. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2015.