Getting By or Getting Rich?
The informal economy includes all those forms of economic and social relationships which escape State regulation. This book explores how people make choices and practice informality in the realm of the criminal, according to the available opportunities. Using empirical work, the book's contributors from across Europe look at different illegal or informal activities. These include legal and illegal markets, such as the selling of counterfeited goods and drugs, fruit picking, infrastructure construction, illegal wildlife and the illegal tropical timber trade, work in the hotel and catering sector, prostitution, stripping, and street vending. The book creates a nuanced and empirically-based approach, undertaking critical analyses on the several ways informality operates within different societies and countries. It includes both economic analyses and detailed consideration of the social circumstances in different cities and countries. It shows how formal and informal work, along with legal and illegal trading, more often than not, overlap and are undistinguishable. It explores what the benefits (and disadvantages) are for workers in the informal economy - do they prosper, or is this survival work? This emphasis on topical empirical foundations matters in rapidly changing economic times, with new challenges for workers.
Publication Date: 6/10/2013