Book Chapter

What, Who, Why and Ways out of the Informal Economy: A Brief Review of Key Definitions and Approaches



Webb A, McQuaid R & Rand S (2019) What, Who, Why and Ways out of the Informal Economy: A Brief Review of Key Definitions and Approaches. In: Larsen C, Rand S, Schmid A, Bobkov V & Lokosov V (eds.) Assessing Informal Employment and Skills Needs: Approaches and Insights from Regional and Local Labour Market Monitoring. Munich: Rainer Hampp Verlag, pp. 23-40.

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.

Informal labour market

Publication date15/10/2019
PublisherRainer Hampp Verlag
Publisher URL
Place of publicationMunich

People (2)


Professor Ronald McQuaid
Professor Ronald McQuaid

Professor of Work and Employment, Management, Work and Organisation

Dr Aleksandra Webb
Dr Aleksandra Webb

Dissertation Supervisor, Management, Work and Organisation

Research programmes