IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Rationales for outsourcing domestic services to off-the-books workers

  • Colin C. Williams

Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate critically the assumption that the main reason for acquiring domestic services from the off-the-books economy is to save money. Design/methodology/approach – Data are reported from an internet survey of 5,500 people living in households with one or more members in employment in the city of Sheffield in the UK, which resulted in 418 responses (a 7.6 per cent response rate). Findings – In just 13 per cent of cases where domestic tasks were outsourced to the off-the-books economy the main reason was to save money or cost. Instead, off-the-books workers were used principally due to the problems customers confronted regarding the availability and quality of formal service providers. Research limitations/implications – This survey covers only households with one or more members in employment, a population group previously shown to be more likely to outsource domestic services and use off-the-books workers. It does not cover no-earner households and is not a nationally representative sample. Practical implications – The implication is that using penalties to change the cost/benefit ratio confronting those acquiring domestic services from the off-the-books economy is unlikely to be successful since cost is in most cases not their major rationale. Instead, attention needs to be paid to improving the availability and quality of formal service provision so as to negate the need for customers to outsource to off-the-books workers. Originality/value – The paper refutes the assumption that goods and services are acquired from the off-the-books economy in order to save money.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=34419201813DD8361C463AEE1DC94A96?contentType=Article&contentId=1811628
Download Restriction: Cannot be freely downloaded

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 343-354

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:36:y:2009:i:4:p:343-354
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

Order Information: Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/jes.htm Email:


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:36:y:2009:i:4:p:343-354. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.