Getting by or Getting Rich?

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ISBN: 9789462360563
Uitgever: Boom uitgevers Den Haag
Auteur: Pietro Saitta, Joanna Shapland & Antoinette Verhage
Pagina's: 376

The informal economy includes all those forms of economic and social relationships which escape state regulation. The book explores how people make choices and practice informality according to the available opportunities. Using empirical work, authors from across Europe look at different illegal or informal activities. They 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 aims to create a nuanced and empirically based approach, in which the authors undertake 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, 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. In fact, it is in moments like these that the old certainties of those who are likely to choose what path to follow, become less clear. It is also then that the dividing lines between formal, informal and criminal start to become less visible in organisations and companies. Does a time of economic turmoil make it easier to slip from one to the other? Does the economic crisis 'force' people to make other choices than before? And what is the impact on individuals, organisations and regulators?

Topics covered in this book are informal economy, choice of work, economic crisis, income portfolio, empirical research, European outlook, phenomena: street vending, prostitution, stripping, fruit picking, hotel, restaurant and catering sector, social fraud, illegal wildlife, illegal tropical timber trade.

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