Labour migration and informalisation: East meets West
2013 (English)In: International journal of sociology and social policy, ISSN 0144-333X, E-ISSN 1758-6720, Vol. 33, no 11/12, 677-692 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose – Against a theoretical discussion of informalisation, the purpose of this paper is to trace wider commonalities and migratory interconnections that are leading to informalised or deteriorated employment conditions both East and West in the enlarged Europe.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines the ways in which informalisation has come increasingly to typify employment relations both East and West via contrastive case studies from Sweden and Latvia.
Findings – The paper illustrates how a growing tendency towards informalisation of work and economy comes about as a consequence of dual tendencies towards informalisation both “from above” and “from below”. Migrant labour has a part in this process, especially in the post-EU enlargement period, increasingly enabling free movement of labour from the former socialist countries to the West.
Research limitations/implications – The implications of the paper are that the harmonisation of labour standards in the enlarged EU is not necessarily in an upward direction and that wider EU labour markets may be increasingly segmented as processes of informalisation grow in scope.
Practical implications – Policy-makers concerned with preserving labour standards and norms of decent work may consider the implications of the interconnected processes of informalisation and migration, in particular, with regard to “undeclared work”.
Social implications – The paper raises issues concerning the European social model and its viability.
Originality/value – The paper bridges research on informalisation of the economy and labour migration in the context of EU enlargement.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013. Vol. 33, no 11/12, 677-692 p.
Transition economies, Informal economy, East-central Europe, Latvia, Migrant workers, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99628DOI: 10.1108/IJSSP-10-2012-0087OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-99628DiVA: diva2:657453
ProjectsResearch funding from the Swedish Council for Working Life
FunderForte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare