Reconceptualizing Women's Paid Informal Work: Some Lessons from Lower-Income Urban Neighbourhoods

20 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2013

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

This paper evaluates critically whether women‘s paid informal work is low-paid market-like work conducted for the purpose of economic gain. Drawing upon interviews with 400 households in UK lower-income urban neighbourhoods, we show that only a small segment of the paid informal work conducted by women is of this character. The vast bulk is undertaken for and by friends, relative and neighbours under non-market relations for reasons associated with redistribution and sociality. Given this finding, we thus conclude that a reconsideration is required of whether eradication alone is always the appropriate policy response.

Keywords: gender, informal employment, informal economy, informal sector, undeclared work, shadow economy, underground economy, United Kingdom, gender division of labour

JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Windebank, Jan E., Reconceptualizing Women's Paid Informal Work: Some Lessons from Lower-Income Urban Neighbourhoods (2003). Gender, Work and Organization, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290518

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

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French ( email )

United Kingdom
(0114) 222 4888 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shef.ac.uk/french/staff/jwindebank.html

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