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Informal Work In Nonmetropolitan Pennsylvania1

L. Jensen, Gretchen T. Cornwell, J. Findeis
Published 2010 · Sociology

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It is well recognized that the informal economy—unregulated economic activities that generate real or in-kind income—features prominently in the day-to-day lives of many in the developing world. Researchers have begun to explore the informal economy in developed countries but this work has focussed primarily on urban areas to the neglect of rural areas. In this paper the nature and correlates of informal work in nonmetropolitan Pennsylvania are described through an analysis of survey data on 505 families. Results indicate that participation in informal activities is widespread, is not more typical of the poor, does not contribute greatly to family income on average but does help many poor families weather difficult economic times, is both economically and noneconomically motivated, and, net of other sociodemographic variables, is positively related to rurality of residence and formal labor supply.
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