Informal economic activity: Early thinking, conceptual shifts, continuing patterns and persistent issues - a Michigan study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stephen J. Sills, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In this paper we review theoretical perspectives on the informal economy that developed during the period 1958–1992. We describe shifts in thinking in two phases that we identify as =first wave studies‘ and =second wave studies,‘ and we identify a series of critical theoretical issues that emerged from the thinking during these periods. Then, focusing on the state of Michigan, USA, we examine empirical research that was conducted in the second wave and compare the results with a state survey that we conducted in 2005. The overall aim of this paper is to summarize the extent of theoretical and empirical studies of informal economy before the more recent postmodern informed analysis of the 1990s, and to document shifts in patterns of informal economic activity as this is revealed from the research. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and empirical questions that have begun to be addressed in the last 15 years of what has now been 50 years of research on this topic.

Additional Information

Crime, Law and Social Change, 45 (4-5): 263-284
Language: English
Date: 2006
informal economy, first wave studies, second wave studies, Michigan

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