Entrepreneurship in the Informal Sector: An Institutional Perspective, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Entrepreneurship in the Informal Sector

An Institutional Perspective, 1st Edition

By Colin C. Williams


236 pages

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Hardback: 9781138925564
pub: 2017-10-03
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315683690
pub: 2017-09-22
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How many businesses start-ups conduct some or all of their trade ‘off-the-books’? And how many enterprises continue to do some of their work off-the-books once they are more established? What should be done about them? Should governments adopt ever more punitive measures to eradicate them? Or should we recognise this hidden enterprise culture and attempt to harness it? If so, how can this be done? What measures can be taken to ensure that businesses start-up in a proper manner? And what can be done to help those enterprises and entrepreneurs currently working off-the-books to legitimise their businesses?

The aim of this book is to advance a new way of answering these questions. Drawing inspiration from institutional theory, informal sector entrepreneurship is explained as resulting from the asymmetry between the codified laws and regulations of a society’s formal institutions and the norms, values and beliefs that comprise a society’s informal institutions. The argument is that if the norms, values and beliefs of entrepreneurs (i.e., their individual morality) were wholly aligned with the codified laws and regulations (i.e., state morality), there would be no informal sector entrepreneurship. However, because the individual morality of entrepreneurs differs from state morality, such as due to their lack of trust in government and the rule of law, the result is the prevalence of informal sector entrepreneurship.

The greater the degree of institutional asymmetry, the higher is the propensity to engage in informal sector entrepreneurship. This book provides evidence to show that this is the case both at the individual- and country-level and then discusses how this can be overcome.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part 1: Theorising Entrepreneurship in the Informal Sector

2. An Institutionalist Perspective

3. Determinants of Institutional Asymmetry

Part 2: Informal Sector Entrepreneurship in Global Perspective

4. Prevalence of Informal Entrepreneurship

5. Impacts of Informal Entrepreneurship

6. Reasons for Informal Entrepreneurship

Part 3: Tackling Informal Sector Entrepreneurship

7. Policy Options and Approaches

8. Hard Direct Policy Measures

9. Soft Indirect Policy Measures

10. Conclusions

About the Author

Colin C. Williams is a Professor of Public Policy at Sheffield University Management School.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Entrepreneurship

This series extends the meaning and scope of entrepreneurship by capturing new research and enquiry on economic, social, cultural and personal value creation. Entrepreneurship as value creation represents the endeavours of innovative people and organisations in creative environments that open up opportunities for developing new products, new services, new firms and new forms of policy making in different environments seeking sustainable economic growth and social development. In setting this objective the series includes books which cover a diverse range of conceptual, empirical and scholarly topics that both inform the field and push the boundaries of entrepreneurship.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / General