What is it about?

This paper aims to evaluate critically the assumption that the main reason for acquiring domestic services from the off-the-books economy is to save money.

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Why is it important?

Data are reported from an internet survey of 5,500 people living in households with one or more members in employment in the city of Sheffield in the UK, which resulted in 418 responses (a 7.6 per cent response rate).In just 13 per cent of cases where domestic tasks were outsourced to the off-the-books economy the main reason was to save money or cost. Instead, off-the-books workers were used principally due to the problems customers confronted regarding the availability and quality of formal service providers.


The paper refutes the assumption that goods and services are acquired from the off-the-books economy in order to save money.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Rationales for outsourcing domestic services to off‐the‐books workers, Journal of Economic Studies, September 2009, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/01443580910973565.
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