Paid Informal Work in Deprived Urban Neighborhoods: Exploitative Employment or Cooperative Self-Help?
Growth and Change, 2001, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 562-571.
10 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2001
The aim of this paper is to challenge the characterization of paid informal work as a form of employment based on exploitative relations that should be eradicated. Using empirical evidence gathered through structured interviews with 511 households in deprived and affluent neighborhoods in British cities, this paper reveals that paid informal work in deprived areas is mostly conducted for kin, neighbors, and friends for co-operative reasons and is thus more like unpaid community exchange in the private sphere than exploitative employment. In consequence, the challenge for social and labor market policy is argued to be not to try to eradicate such work but to harness it in these deprived urban neighborhoods.
Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, England
JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation