What is it about?

Recognizing that the current conceptualizations of men’s and women’s undeclared work derive almost entirely from a limited range of small-scale studies of specific localities, sectors and occupations, this article begins to resolve this dearth of evidence by reporting the findings of an extensive cross-national survey of undeclared work conducted in 2007 across 27 European Union (EU) nations.

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Why is it important?

The outcome is fresh and extensive EU-wide evidence that extends existing conceptualizations of the gender differences in terms of participation, sector, contract type and pay. However, the recognition that undeclared work is conducted for closer social relations and sometimes for motives other than financial gain, is shown to apply not only to women, as previously contended, but to men as well and to constitute most of the undeclared work in the EU.


The paper calls for a fundamental reconceptualization of the nature of undeclared work that recognizes the heterogeneous work relations involved.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Reconceptualizing Women's and Men's Undeclared Work: Some Results from a European Union Survey, Gender Work and Organization, September 2009, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0432.2009.00466.x.
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