Re-Thinking the Nature of the Informal Economy: Some Lessons from Ukraine

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 31.2 June 2007, 425-41

17 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

John Round

University of Birmingham

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This article provides a critical evaluation of the competing discourses that variously represent the informal economy as a residue or leftover of some pre-capitalist era, a by-product of a new type of emergent formal economy, an alternative mode of work organization or a complement to the formal economy. Drawing upon evidence from a study of 600 households in Ukraine that unravels the heterogeneous forms of work in the informal economy, the finding is that although each and every representation is wholly valid in relation to specific types of informal work, no one articulation fully captures the diverse nature and multiple meanings of the informal economy. Here, in consequence, it is contended that only by using all of them will a finer-grained and more comprehensive understanding of the complex and multifarious character of the informal economy be achieved. To display how this can be achieved, a conceptual framework is then presented that couples together these contrasting representations in order to provide a more multi-layered and nuanced depiction of the informal economy, followed by a discussion of the implications for urban and regional development and policy of recognizing the multiple and diverse types of informal work.

Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, Ukraine, post-socialist societies

JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17, P2, P3

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Round, John, Re-Thinking the Nature of the Informal Economy: Some Lessons from Ukraine (2007). International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 31.2 June 2007, 425-41, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708342

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

John Round

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
15
Abstract Views
312
PlumX Metrics