The role of informal work in the livelihood strategies of US households

Emily J. Wornell, Leif Jensen, Ann Tickamyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Contrary to assumptions made throughout much of the previous century about the inevitable decline in the significance and prevalence of informal work in developed economies like the United States, research over the past 25 years has well documented both the prominence and growing relevance of informal work to households in developed countries (Edin & Lein, 1997; Williams & Nadin, 2012; Williams & Windebank, 2010). Despite an increasing focus on informal work, however, much remains unknown about the role and function of informal work as a livelihood strategy in US households. This analysis uses data from the first national-level survey of informal work in the US to examine the role of informal work as a part of income packaging in the economic security of households and differences in households that use informal work versus those that use an alternative livelihood strategy, with a specific focus on differences by metropolitan status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Informal Economy
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Drivers and Practices
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781351655323
ISBN (Print)9781138068377
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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