Search results

1 – 10 of over 62000
Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Michael Rogan, Sally Roever, Martha Alter Chen and Françoise Carré

In this chapter, we aim to illustrate some of the forms taken by informal employment in the global south and how these can best be understood by adopting a wider…

Abstract

In this chapter, we aim to illustrate some of the forms taken by informal employment in the global south and how these can best be understood by adopting a wider analytical lens than has been applied in much of the precarious employment literature. We draw on the findings of a recent study of the working conditions of urban informal workers from 10 cities in the global south. The study consisted of focus groups (15 in each city) conducted through the framework of a participatory informal economy appraisal as well as a survey of 1,957 home-based workers, street vendors, and waste pickers. Our findings illustrate a number of ways in which these three groups of informal workers are embedded within the formal economy. While they are not engaged in wage employment, they play subordinate roles to both formal sector firms within global production networks and unequal production relations and to the state through, inter alia, constrained access to public spaces and regulation. In order to interpret these findings, we apply Agarwala’s (2009) “relational” lens to demonstrate how risks and costs are transferred to workers who constitute the “real economy” in much of the global south. Given the often disguised connections between informal employment and the formal economy, this approach also provides a bridge to understanding precarious working conditions and the effects of globalization outside of the industrialized north.

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Artjoms Ivlevs

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of remittances on informal employment in the migrants’ countries of origin, looking both at the remittance-receiving and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of remittances on informal employment in the migrants’ countries of origin, looking both at the remittance-receiving and non-migrant households.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from a large survey conducted in six transition economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the determinants of three labour market outcomes – not working, working formally and working informally – are estimated in a multinomial probit model. The endogeneity of remittances is dealt with instrumental variables following the two-stage residual inclusion technique. To assess possible impact of remittances on non-migrant households, conditional correlations between the labour market outcomes of non-migrant households and the region-level share of remittance receivers are obtained.

Findings

Both correlational and instrumental variable analyses suggest that that receiving remittances increases the likelihood of working informally. At the regional level, high prevalence of remittances is associated with a higher likelihood of informal work among the non-migrant households. Migration and remittances may thus be contributing to informal employment in migration-sending countries.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical analysis is based on cross-sectional data, which do not allow isolating the effects of unobserved respondent heterogeneity. To deal with this issue, future research could use panel data.

Originality/value

The study explicitly considers the effects of remittances on formal and informal employment of remittances receivers as well as people who do not receive remittances. It advances the understanding of what drives informality in developing and transition economies.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 37 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 June 2005

Karrie Ann Snyder

By synthesizing case studies on the informal economy throughout the world, I show that women and men specialize in different tasks, work in separate settings, and have…

Abstract

By synthesizing case studies on the informal economy throughout the world, I show that women and men specialize in different tasks, work in separate settings, and have differing access to positions of economic power in the informal economy. Moreover, women are more likely than their male counterparts to seek employment in the informal sector. I also explore why gender segregation is such a marked feature of the informal economy by examining characteristics of the informal sector that encourage such gender segregation including the relationship between the informal and formal economies and the social status of informal work.

Details

Gender Realities: Local and Global
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-214-6

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2021

Mansi Rastogi and Osman M. Karatepe

Drawing from work-family enrichment (WFE) model and path-goal theory of motivation, this paper proposes and tests work engagement (WE) as a mediator between informal

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from work-family enrichment (WFE) model and path-goal theory of motivation, this paper proposes and tests work engagement (WE) as a mediator between informal learning and WFE.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires measuring informal learning, WE and WFE were filled out by 290 hotel employees in India. The abovementioned linkages were tested via structural equation modeling.

Findings

The findings suggest that hotel employees' informal learning fosters their WE and WFE. The findings also reveal that WE partly mediates the impact of informal learning on WFE.

Originality/value

Most of employees' learning efforts in the workplace emerge from informal learning. However, there is still limited information whether employees' informal learning activates their WE, which is a timely and significant topic. Importantly, there is a paucity of evidence appertaining to the effect of informal learning on WFE, which is underrepresented in the current literature. Evidence about the mechanism linking informal learning to WFE is also sparse.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 71 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2017

Caroline Murphy and Thomas Turner

The undervaluing of care work, whether conducted informally or formally, has long been subject to debate. While much discussion, and indeed reform has centred on…

Abstract

Purpose

The undervaluing of care work, whether conducted informally or formally, has long been subject to debate. While much discussion, and indeed reform has centred on childcare, there is a growing need, particularly in countries with ageing populations, to examine how long-term care (LTC) work is valued. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the way in which employment policies (female labour market participation, retirement age, and precarious work) and social policies (care entitlements and benefits/leave for carers) affect both informal carers and formal care workers in a liberal welfare state with a rapidly ageing population.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing the adult worker model the authors use the existing literature on ageing care and employment to examine the approach of a liberal welfare state to care work focusing on both supports for informal carers and job quality in the formal care sector.

Findings

The research suggests that employment policies advocating increased labour participation, delaying retirement and treating informal care as a form of welfare are at odds with LTC strategies which encourage informal care. Furthermore, the latter policy acts to devalue formal care roles in an economic sense and potentially discourages workers from entering the formal care sector.

Originality/value

To date research investigating the interplay between employment and LTC policies has focused on either informal or formal care workers. In combining both aspects, we view informal and formal care workers as complementary, interdependent agents in the care process. This underlines the need to develop social policy regarding care and employment which encompasses the needs of each group concurrently.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 37 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2017

Tim Slack, Michael R. Cope, Leif Jensen and Ann R. Tickamyer

The purpose of this paper is to analyze data from the first-ever national-level study of informal work in the USA to test two prominent points of focus in the literature…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze data from the first-ever national-level study of informal work in the USA to test two prominent points of focus in the literature: how participation in informal work relates to social embeddedness and formal labor supply. This paper also provides a comparative test of the factors associated with exchange-based informal work (i.e. money/barter) vs self-provisioning activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on data from a national-level household telephone survey and uses descriptive statistics and logistic regression models.

Findings

The data show that participation in the informal economy is widespread in the USA. Consistent with theory, it is found that measures of social embeddedness and formal labor supply are much more salient for predicting participation in informal work for money/barter compared to self-provisioning.

Originality/value

Drawing on unique data from the first national-level household survey of informal work in the USA, this study provides generalizable support for the contention that the informal sector stands as a persistent structural feature in modern society. The results build on the wealth of information produced by qualitative case studies examining informal economic activity as well as a smaller number of regionally targeted surveys to provide important theoretical insights.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 37 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 July 2017

Joanna Shapland and Jason Heyes

Recent changes in the UK to the regulation and modes of work in the formal and informal economies are considered. Research in this field has tended to remain in silos…

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Abstract

Purpose

Recent changes in the UK to the regulation and modes of work in the formal and informal economies are considered. Research in this field has tended to remain in silos (treating formal economy working conditions separately from research on the informal economy). The question is whether the means of work and benefits to the worker for formal and informal work are now as different as the former images of formal and informal economy work imply under a “jobs-for-life” economy. The purpose of this paper is to consider whether the current aim of government regulation of the informal economy – to formalise it – is actually of benefit to workers, as might be supposed.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper considers recent research findings on the formal and informal economy, using official government statistics for the UK and more detailed European studies on the informal economy.

Findings

This paper argues that formal employment in the UK is becoming more casualised, with less associated benefits to employees. Though it is still of benefit to the state to formalise informal work (to increase tax take), some of the links between formalisation and a good working environment for workers are being broken, which may lead to the informal economy becoming more popular and requiring different priorities in its regulation.

Originality/value

This paper argues that we need to change our assumptions and image of work in the formal economy, compared to that in the informal economy.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 37 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

Colin Williams and John Round

A long‐standing meta‐narrative regarding the future of work is that, over history, economic activity has shifted from the informal into the formal economy and that the

1067

Abstract

Purpose

A long‐standing meta‐narrative regarding the future of work is that, over history, economic activity has shifted from the informal into the formal economy and that the informal economy is now a residue existing only in the margins. This paper aims to evaluate critically this formalization thesis so as to question whether the future of work is inevitably and immutably one of formalization.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data are drawn upon from a study of the work practices of 600 households in Ukraine conducted during 2005/2006 to evaluate the centrality of the formal economy in this post‐socialist society.

Findings

This study reveals only a relatively shallow permeation of formalization in this post‐socialist society and how the informal economy is a core integral component of contemporary work organization relied on not only by some 28 per cent of households who, excluded from the formal economy, utilize this sphere as their principal livelihood practice but also by the vast majority immersed in the formal economy who heavily depend on informal work to secure their livelihood.

Research limitations/implications

This snapshot survey identifies only that the informal economy is not some minor residue as depicted by the formalization thesis. It cannot decipher whether there is movement in Ukraine towards greater reliance on the formal (or informal) economy.

Originality/value

This paper de‐centers the formal economy by re‐positioning it as just one of a plurality of work practices and foregrounds the informal economy as a core component of work organization in this post‐socialist society.

Details

Foresight, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Jeremy Morris

The purpose of this paper is to explore an important nexus of formal/informal economic activity in Russia: “normative” workers (in waged formal employment) by virtue of a…

798

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore an important nexus of formal/informal economic activity in Russia: “normative” workers (in waged formal employment) by virtue of a strongly embedded work‐related social identity and characterized by a significant number of weak social ties, move with little “effort” between formal and informal work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents extensive ethnographic data from the Russian provinces on workers and diverse economic practices. It utilizes participant observation and semi‐structured interviews from periods of fieldwork over the course of a year (2009‐2010).

Findings

This study traces the theoretical debates on the informal economy from 1989 to 2008 and argues for a substantivist position on household reproduction that focuses on the interdependence of social networks, employment, class‐identity and (informal) work. The findings demonstrate significant performative and spatial aspects of embedded worker identity, including the workspace itself as a contested domain, that facilitate movement between formal‐informal work.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper resides in its ethnographic approach to informal economies under post‐socialism and the substantivist evaluation of diverse economic practices in Russia as supported by formal work‐based shared identities.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 31 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2020

Aamar Ilyas, Muhammad Shehryar Shahid and Ramraini Ali Hassan

Conventionally, the marginalised population was considered to engage in child labour due to poverty, education or lack of other options, but indeed, a few children work

Abstract

Purpose

Conventionally, the marginalised population was considered to engage in child labour due to poverty, education or lack of other options, but indeed, a few children work voluntarily. However, a growing number of scholars, in recent years, have drawn their attention to the valuable question, “why children are engaged in child labour in the informal economy”. Even though a few studies have explored the motives of informal workers, to our knowledge not a single paper has explored the motives of child labourers working in the informal economy. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by evaluating the motives of child labourers, through three competing theorisations of the informal economy.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, face-to-face structured interviews of 45 child labourers were conducted, who worked in different automobile workshops in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. Respondents were selected using the snowball sampling technique as this strategy is suitable for researching sensitive issues and is feasible for small sample sizes.

Findings

The main finding is that no single explanation is universally applicable to all child labourers. Some (27 per cent) justify their participation in the informal sector as driven by necessity (structuralist perspective), majority (40 per cent) explain their participation in the informal economy as a rational economic choice (neo-liberal perspective) and finally, more than a quarter of respondents (31 per cent) engaged in child labour due to their own free will or voluntarily to work for their family (post-structuralist perspective). This study also revealed that entrepreneurial spawning is a key determinant of child labour as the majority of children, in our study, working in automobile workshops intended to start their own workshop business in the future.

Research limitations/implications

This article shows that children early engaged in work with entrepreneurial intention/spawning. Entrepreneurial education is very important in a child’s life. Entrepreneurial education will be a ticket to fulfill their dreams and learn new things with entrepreneurial attitude.

Practical implications

Government should develop the vocational training institutes for children who left the schools.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the body of literature by providing a better understanding of why children work in informal employment, an occupation generally perceived as constituting exploitative working conditions. This study also contributes to the wider literature of entrepreneurship by exploring “entrepreneurial spawning” as one of the major reasons underlying the participation of children in informal work.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 62000