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Informal Employment in Advanced Economies

Implications for Work and Welfare


Paperback / softback

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Informal Employment in Advanced Economies by Colin C. Williams
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Informal employment, whether the result of tax evasion or working whilst claiming benefit, is an issue rapidly rising to the top of government policy agendas. Informal Employment in Advanced Economies challenges many of the popular myths surrounding informal economic activities, offering a radical reconceptualisation of their extent, growth, location and nature as well as evaluating the contrasting policy options open to governments. This book challenges three popular myths about informal employment. First, it tackles the belief that informal employment is growing throughout the advanced economies. Second it challenges the myth that this work is undertaken mostly by marginalised groups such as the unemployed, poor, ethnic minorities and immigrants and in deprived neighbourhoods. Third, it evaluates the dominant view that we should replace informal with formal employment through enforcement of stringent laws and regulations concerning tax evasion, benefit fraud and the contravention of labour laws. In challenging these views, Informal Employment in Advanced Economies finds that far from a universal informalisation of the advanced economies, different places are pursuing heterogeneous development paths: some areas continue to formalise work and welfare; others are witnessing rapid informalisation of a highly exploitative nature. Examining policy options and their consequences, the authors show that conventional regulatory and de-regulatory approaches merely exacerbate inequalities and a radical alternative solution, grounded in a 'new economics' vision of the future of work and welfare provision, is essential.
Release date NZ
October 1st, 1998
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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