Most research on the informal economy concentrates on how the informal economy operates at the international and regional levels along with the formal economy and the state. This article departs from current research on the informal economy by looking at how the informal economy operates within the lives of its participants. It considers how informal workers use informal work as both an economic and an identity resource. Informal workers create informal careers and informal work environments in accordance with financial and identity goals and needs. The intersection of informal work as an identity resource and as an economic resource creates a typology of informal market participation types. Among a group of self-employed workers in New York City's East Village neighborhood, four patterns of informal market participation emerge: Entrepreneur, Occupier, Avocationalist, and Allowance Seeker.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science