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

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: 2001

Abstract

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

Williams, Colin and Windebank, Jan E., Paid Informal Work in Deprived Urban Neighborhoods: Exploitative Employment or Cooperative Self-Help? (2001). Growth and Change, 2001, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 562-571., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708029

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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