Spatial Variations in the Character of Off-the-Books Entrepreneurship: Lessons from a Study of Contrasting Districts in Moscow

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 287-301, 2010

15 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2013

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

John Round

University of Birmingham

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Although there is growing recognition that many entrepreneurs start-up trading partially or wholly off-the-books, few have evaluated whether the character of this hidden enterprise culture varies spatially. To begin to do so, this paper evaluates whether and how the nature of off-the-books entrepreneurship differs across an affluent, mixed and deprived district of Moscow. Drawing upon 313 face-to-face interviews, the finding is that wholly legitimate enterprises represent just the tip of the iceberg in Moscow. Beneath the surface in all the districts is a large hidden enterprise culture. However, off-the-books entrepreneurship in the affluent district is comprised more of registered businesses trading partially off-the-books and conducted as a voluntarily chosen spin-off from their formal employment. In the deprived district, meanwhile, it is comprised more of unregistered wholly off-the-books businesses and such entrepreneurship is largely a survival tactic and last resort. The paper concludes by discussing the theoretical and policy implications of these findings.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, enterprise culture, enterprise development, informal economy, shadow economy, underground sector, tax compliance, Moscow

JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Round, John, Spatial Variations in the Character of Off-the-Books Entrepreneurship: Lessons from a Study of Contrasting Districts in Moscow (2010). International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 287-301, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290020 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2290020

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

John Round

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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