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An estimation of the size of the hidden labour force in construction in Trinidad and Tobago


  • Timothy Michael Lewis
  • Roger Hosein


In every country there is a hidden economy operating alongside the formal economy. The published national statistics record only the formal economy. These statistics indicate that the construction industry is an important source of both wealth creation and employment despite the fact that they fail to take account of three important aspects of the sector. These are that the broadly defined construction sector is much larger than the construction industry, what is known as the 'informal' sector, and the work done by direct labour organisations. In the absence of actual measures of the size of these aspects, an indirect technique has been used to provide an estimate of their scale. These estimates are used to obtain an overview of their possible impact on the actual role of the sector in terms of output and employment in the economy. The preliminary estimates suggest the overall contribution of construction to the economy of Trinidad and Tobago represents some three times the official Figure.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Michael Lewis & Roger Hosein, 2006. "An estimation of the size of the hidden labour force in construction in Trinidad and Tobago," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(8), pages 805-815.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:24:y:2006:i:8:p:805-815
    DOI: 10.1080/01446190600658594

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Helberger, Christof & Knepel, Helmut, 1988. "How big is the shadow economy? : A re-analysis of the unobserved-variable approach of B.S. Frey and H. Weck-Hannemann," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 965-976, April.
    2. Feige, Edgar L., 1990. "Defining and estimating underground and informal economies: The new institutional economics approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 989-1002, July.
    3. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
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