What, who, why and ways out of the informal economy: a brief review of key definitions and approaches

Aleksandra Webb, Ronald McQuaid, Sigrid Rand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


While the different forms of informal economy bring about a wide variety of employment relationships that can be conducive of innovative economic activities, the majority of informal employment relationships are associated with low quality employment and insufficient social protection. Consequently, the informal economy may limit the development of sustained ”decent” work (UN Sustainable Development Goals 8, UN 2017), which includes fair working conditions, equal opportunities and social protection (European Commission 2017). Therefore, the article will discuss different ways to transform informal employment into formal. It aims to systematise What the informal economy is; Who participates in informal economic activities and Why; and how existing bodies of knowledge can be used to plan and facilitate Ways out of an over reliance on the informal economy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssessing Informal Employment and Skills Needs
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches and Insights from Regional and Local Labour Market Monitoring
EditorsChrista Larsen, Sigrid Rand, Alfons Schmid, Vyacheslav Bobkov, Vyacheslav Lokosov
Place of PublicationMunich
PublisherRainer Hampp Verlag
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783957103598
ISBN (Print)9783957102591
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameENRLMM Anthology
PublisherEuropean Network on Regional Labour Market Monitoring


  • informal economy
  • informal labour market
  • informal work


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