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

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: 2004

Abstract

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

Williams, Colin and Windebank, Jan E., The Heterogeneity of the Underground Economy (2004). International Journal of Economic Development, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 1-22., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708026

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

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
12
Abstract Views
227
PlumX Metrics