The Heterogeneity of the Underground Economy
International Journal of Economic Development, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 1-22.
22 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2004
This paper evaluates critically the representation of the underground economy in the advanced economies as comprised of marginalised populations working ‘off the books’ as employees for wholly or partially underground businesses under exploitative conditions. It reveals that this ‘thin’ reading of underground work is descriptive of just one small segment of the underground economy and uncovers how other forms underground work can be identified ranging from income-oriented ‘off-the-books’ self-employment through to community-oriented paid favors. To conclude, therefore, a call is made for the heterogeneous forms of underground work to be recognized in order that a richer and more textured comprehension of the multiple roles of such work in contemporary economic development can start to be achieved.
Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, England
JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation