What is it about?

Informal employment is conventionally viewed as residual, marginal and sweatshoplike work that impairs urban economic development and social cohesion.

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Why is it important?

Reporting data from 313 interviews conducted with Moscow households during 2005/06, this negative reading is found to apply to just one segment of the informal labour market in this post-socialist city— namely, informal waged employment. Examining the multiple types of informal employment conducted on an own-account basis, more positive impacts emerge of this sphere as the key seedbed for enterprise development and principal mechanism for delivering community self help.

Perspectives

The outcome is a call for a finer-grained understanding and more nuanced policy approach towards informal employment that recognises its plurality of forms and their varying consequences for economic development and social cohesion.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Beyond Negative Depictions of Informal Employment: Some Lessons from Moscow, Urban Studies, November 2007, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1080/00420980701540945.
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