What is it about?

The aim of this paper is to explain the cash-in-hand consumer culture in the property and construction sector. The conventional assumption has been that consumers using cash-in-hand transactions are rational economic actors doing so simply to save money. Here, this is evaluated critically.

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Why is it important?

To do this, evidence from a 2007 Eurobarometer survey involving 26,659 face-to-face interviews in 27 European Union member states is reported. The finding is that saving money is the sole motive of consumers in just 38 per cent of cash-in-hand transactions in the European property and construction sector, one of several rationales in 38 per cent of exchanges and not cited as a rationale in the remaining 24 per cent of cases. Besides saving money, consumers engage in cash-in-hand transactions to circumvent the shortcomings of formal sector provision in terms of its availability, speed and quality, as well as for social and redistributive rationales.


This paper refutes the assumption that goods and services are acquired from the cash-in-hand economy solely in order to save money.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: How much for cash?, Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, July 2012, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/13664381211246570.
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