Out of the Margins: Re-Theorizing the Role of the Informal Economy in Ukraine
International Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 45 - 58.
14 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2009
The recognition that many inhabitants across the world rely on the informal economy for their livelihood has led to a refutation that this sphere is a leftover from pre-capitalism and the advent of a range of competing theorizations of the informal economy as either reinforcing the disparities produced by the formal economy, a chosen alternative to the formal economy or an involuntary survival practice for those decanted from the formal economy. To evaluate critically these rival theories, a study of the informal sector in four localities in Ukraine is reported. Finding that this is an involuntary survival practice but one that is ubiquitous, rather than confined to the marginalized, and is just as commonly used as the formal sector as a coping practice, the outcome is a call to bring the informal economy out of the margins and more centre-stage in future analyses of East-Central European economies.
Keywords: informal sector, informal economy, informal employment, shadow economy, undeclared work, underground economy, Ukraine, livelihoods
JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation