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Explaining The Persistence Of The Informal Economy In Central And Eastern Europe: Some Lessons From Moscow, Colin C. Williams Dec 2011

Explaining The Persistence Of The Informal Economy In Central And Eastern Europe: Some Lessons From Moscow, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

To evaluate critically the competing explanations for the persistence of the informal economy that variously represent this sphere as a residue, by-product, alternative and/or complement to the formal economy, this paper reports a survey of livelihood practices in 313 Moscow households. The finding is that the majority of households primarily depend on informal work to secure their livelihood and that although each and every theorisation is wholly valid with regard to particular types of informal work and/or specific population groups, no one articulation fully captures the diverse nature and multiple meanings of the informal economy in contemporary Moscow ...


Theorizing The Self-Service Economy: A Case Study Of Do-It-Yourself (Diy) Activity, Colin C. Williams Dec 2011

Theorizing The Self-Service Economy: A Case Study Of Do-It-Yourself (Diy) Activity, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Recently, it has become increasingly recognised that self-servicing is a growing rather than declining phenomenon. To explain this, a range of competing theories have emerged which variously portray those engaged in self-servicing either as rational economic actors, dupes, seekers of self-identity, or simply doing so out of necessity or choice. This paper evaluates critically the validity of these rival explanations. To do this, the extent of, and reasons for, self-servicing in the domestic realm is empirically evaluated through an internet survey of 5,500 people living in the city of Sheffield in England. This resulted in 418 valid responses (a ...


Enabling Enterprise: Tackling The Barriers To Formalisation, Colin C. Williams Dec 2011

Enabling Enterprise: Tackling The Barriers To Formalisation, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

No abstract provided.


From Market Hegemony To Diverse Economies: Evaluating The Plurality Of Labour Practices In Ukraine, Colin C. Williams Dec 2011

From Market Hegemony To Diverse Economies: Evaluating The Plurality Of Labour Practices In Ukraine, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Drawing inspiration from a burgeoning corpus of scholars who have begun to question the narrative of impending market hegemony, this paper seeks to further advance this emergent ‘diverse economies’ literature by constructing a conceptual framework for representing the multiple labour practices in economies. Transcending the simplistic market/non-market dichotomy, this conceptualises multiple kinds of labour existing along a spectrum from market-oriented to non-market oriented practices, which is cross-cut by another spectrum ranging from wholly monetised to wholly non-monetised practices. The resultant portrayal of a plurality of labour practices that seamlessly merge into each other is then applied to understanding the ...


Beyond Competing Theories Of The Hidden Economy, Colin C. Williams Dec 2010

Beyond Competing Theories Of The Hidden Economy, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate critically the validity of rival theorisations of the hidden economy that variously read this sphere as a leftover from a previous era, a by-product of a new emergent form of capitalism, a complement to formal employment or an alternative to the formal economy. Until now, the common tendency among economic theorists has been to either universally privilege one theorisation over others, or to represent each theory as valid in different places. Design/methodology/approach – To evaluate their validity to the city of Moscow, a survey is reported involving 313 face-to-face interviews with inhabitants conducted ...


Evaluating The Nature Of The Relationship Between Informal Entrepreneurship And The Formal Economy In Rural Communities, Colin C. Williams Dec 2010

Evaluating The Nature Of The Relationship Between Informal Entrepreneurship And The Formal Economy In Rural Communities, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This paper evaluates critically the different theorizations of the nature of the relationship between informal entrepreneurship and the formal economy, which variously depict informal entrepreneurship as a leftover from a previous era, a survival practice for those excluded from the formal economy, and a complement or an alternative to participation in the formal economy. Reporting evidence from 350 face-to-face interviews in English rural communities, no single theorization is found to be universally applicable. Instead, all are shown to be valid in relation to different forms of informal entrepreneurship, and only by combining them is it feasible to achieve a finer-grained ...


The Illusion Of Capitalism In Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study Of The Gambia, Colin C. Williams Dec 2010

The Illusion Of Capitalism In Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study Of The Gambia, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate critically the meta-narrative that there is no alternative to capitalism. Building upon an emerging body of post-structuralist thought that has begun deconstructing this discourse in relation to western economies and post-Soviet societies, this paper further extends this critique to Sub-Saharan Africa by investigating the degree to which people in the Gambia rely on the capitalist market economy for their livelihood. Reporting the results of 80 household face-to-face interviews (involving over 500 people), the finding is that only a small minority of households in contemporary Gambian society rely on the formal market economy alone to ...


Rethinking The Nature Of Community Economies: Some Lessons From Post-Soviet Ukraine, Colin C. Williams Dec 2010

Rethinking The Nature Of Community Economies: Some Lessons From Post-Soviet Ukraine, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This paper contributes to a small but growing body of thought that has questioned the hegemony of capitalism by revealing the persistence of multifarious economic practices in everyday community economies. To further advance this school of thought, first, a conceptual framework is developed to map the diverse economic practices used by communities and second, this is applied through a survey of 600 households in Ukraine. The outcome is to reveal that just as multifarious economic practices prevailed under state socialism, the same applies in societies in transition to capitalism, suggesting that there are alternative futures for community economies beyond market ...


Women Entrepreneurs In The Indian Informal Sector, Colin C. Williams Dec 2010

Women Entrepreneurs In The Indian Informal Sector, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Purpose – Studies on women entrepreneurs either view women through a structuralist lens, as marginalised populations engaged in low-quality work, or through a neo-liberal lens, as engaged in relatively higher quality endeavour more as a rational choice. The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically these explanations in relation to women entrepreneurs in the informal sector in India. Design/methodology/approach – To evaluate the contrasting explanations of structuralist and new liberal approaches, questionnaire surveys were conducted in two phases, namely 2007 and 2010, over a period of several months. The sample design was stratified random and the sample was taken ...


Re-Theorizing The Informal Economy In Western Nations: Some Lessons From Rural England, Colin C. Williams Jan 2010

Re-Theorizing The Informal Economy In Western Nations: Some Lessons From Rural England, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

No abstract provided.


Spatial Variations In The Character Of Off-The-Books Entrepreneurship: Lessons From A Study Of Contrasting Districts In Moscow, Colin C. Williams Dec 2009

Spatial Variations In The Character Of Off-The-Books Entrepreneurship: Lessons From A Study Of Contrasting Districts In Moscow, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Although there is growing recognition that many entrepreneurs start-up trading partially or wholly off-the-books, few have evaluated whether the character of this hidden enterprise culture varies spatially. To begin to do so, this paper evaluates whether and how the nature of off-the-books entrepreneurship differs across an affluent, mixed and deprived district of Moscow. Drawing upon 313 face-to-face interviews, the finding is that wholly legitimate enterprises represent just the tip of the iceberg in Moscow. Beneath the surface in all the districts is a large hidden enterprise culture. However, off-the-books entrepreneurship in the affluent district is comprised more of registered businesses ...


Entrepreneurship And The Informal Economy: An Overview, Colin C. Williams Dec 2009

Entrepreneurship And The Informal Economy: An Overview, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

In recent decades, the field of entrepreneurship studies has become increasingly interested in the relationship between entrepreneurship and the informal economy. This paper reviews this burgeoning sub-field of entrepreneurship studies that recognizes how entrepreneurs do not always conduct their business affairs wholly by the rulebook. Evaluating this rapidly growing body of literature, it reviews the findings regarding the preponderance of entrepreneurs to engage in the informal economy, the nature of such informal entrepreneurship, the characteristics of informal entrepreneurs and the motives underpinning participation in such endeavor, along with the competing theories that have sought to explain engagement in this type ...


Joining Up The Fight Against Undeclared Work In Europe, Colin C. Williams Dec 2009

Joining Up The Fight Against Undeclared Work In Europe, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Report to the European Commission on the feasibility of creating a platform for cooperation between labour inspectorates and other relevant monitoring and enforcement bodies, to prevent and fight undeclared work


Explaining The Off-The-Books Enterprise Culture Of Ukraine: Reluctant Or Willing Entrepreneurship?, Colin C. Williams Dec 2009

Explaining The Off-The-Books Enterprise Culture Of Ukraine: Reluctant Or Willing Entrepreneurship?, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

In recent years, there has been a growing realisation that beyond the realm of legitimate entrepreneurship is a large hidden enterprise culture composed of entrepreneurs conducting some or all of their trade off-the-books. Until now, however, few have evaluated how many entrepreneurs start-up their ventures trading off-the-books and why they do so. Reporting face-to-face interviews conducted in Ukraine during 2005-06 with 331 entrepreneurs, the finding is not only that the vast majority (90%) operate partially or wholly off-the-books but also that they are not all driven by necessity and as a last resort and survival strategy into entrepreneurship. Revealing how ...


Re-Visioning The Future Of Work: Towards A New Mindset, Colin C. Williams Nov 2009

Re-Visioning The Future Of Work: Towards A New Mindset, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

No abstract provided.


Evaluating The Extent And Nature Of 'Envelope Wages' In The European Union: A Geographical Analysis, Colin C. Williams Dec 2008

Evaluating The Extent And Nature Of 'Envelope Wages' In The European Union: A Geographical Analysis, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

To evaluate the spatialities of the illegal wage practice where employers pay their declared employees both an official declared wage and an undeclared ‘envelope’ wage so as to avoid tax liabilities, a 2007 survey conducted in 27 European Union (EU) member states is reported. The finding is that 5% of employees received envelope wages which amount on average to some two-fifths of their wage packet. Revealing how, although heavily concentrated in a small group of East-Central European nations, this wage practice is nonetheless ubiquitous, the paper concludes by discussing how this practice might be tackled.


Measures To Tackle Undeclared Work In 27 European Countries, Colin C. Williams Dec 2008

Measures To Tackle Undeclared Work In 27 European Countries, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Review of range and type of policy measures used for tackling undeclared work in 27 European Union member states and an evaluation fo their transferability to other nations, sectors and/or occupations


Repaying Favours: Unravelling The Nature Of Community Exchnage In An English Locality, Colin C. Williams Dec 2008

Repaying Favours: Unravelling The Nature Of Community Exchnage In An English Locality, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

A recurring assumption in community development has been that when material support is provided on a one-to-one basis to the extended family or social and neighbourhood networks, such favours are repaid by offering help in return rather than money. Reporting a study of the community exchanges of 120 households in an English locality, however, the finding is that well over one-third of these were repaid using money. The outcome is a call for the community development literature to recognise and respond to the existence of this sphere of ‘paid favours’ which demonstrates how monetary transactions can be neither market-like nor ...


Re-Thinking The Future Of Work: Beyond Binary Hierarchies, Colin C. Williams Dec 2007

Re-Thinking The Future Of Work: Beyond Binary Hierarchies, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

How will work be organised in the future? This paper reveals that although there are multiple stories about the future of work, a similar storyline is adopted across many of the competing visions. Most visions firstly squeeze all forms of work into one side or the other or some dichotomy and then proceed to temporally and/or normatively sequence the two sides of the dualism and finally label the resultant one-dimensional and linear trajectory as some -ism, -ation or post-somethingor-other. This paper evaluates critically such hierarchical binary narratives (e.g., the shift from informal to formal work, non-commodified to commodified ...


Tackling Undeclared Work In The European Union, Colin C. Williams Dec 2007

Tackling Undeclared Work In The European Union, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

No abstract provided.


Small Businesses In The Informal Economy: The Evidence Base, Colin C. Williams Dec 2003

Small Businesses In The Informal Economy: The Evidence Base, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

No abstract provided.


Small Businesses In The Informal Economy, Colin C. Williams Dec 2003

Small Businesses In The Informal Economy, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

No abstract provided.