Theorizing Entrepreneurship in the Informal Sector in Urban Brazil: A Product of Exit or Exclusion?

Journal of Entrepreneurship, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 148-168, 2015

27 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Youssef Youssef

Humber College

Date Written: February 10, 2015

Abstract

This article evaluates critically the competing explanations for informal sector entrepreneurship that read such endeavours to result from either ‘exclusion’ from state benefits and the circuits of the modern economy or the voluntary ‘exit’ of workers from formal institutions. Reporting evidence from a 2003 survey in urban Brazil, it is revealed that similar proportions of informal sector entrepreneurs explain their participation to result from their involuntary exclusion and voluntary exit from the formal economy. The outcome is a call to shift from an either/or to a both/and approach when explaining informal sector entrepreneurship and for wider research on the relative weightings given to exit and exclusion in different contexts so as to develop a socio-spatially contingent explanation for participation in informal sector entrepreneurship across the globe.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Micro-Enterprise, Small Businesses, Enterprise Culture, Informal Sector, Underground Economy, Shadow Economy, Brazil

JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17, P37

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Youssef, Youssef, Theorizing Entrepreneurship in the Informal Sector in Urban Brazil: A Product of Exit or Exclusion? (February 10, 2015). Journal of Entrepreneurship, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 148-168, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2883478

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

Youssef Youssef

Humber College ( email )

Toronto M9W 5L7, Ontario
Canada

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