GERN Doctoral Summer School

« The Economic Crisis and the Informal Economy in Europe »

Ghent University – September 6, 2012


The notion of the informal economy highly appeals to one’s imagination, partly due to its vagueness and comprehensiveness. The major aim of this study day is to offer more insights into the phenomenon of the informal economy and its current manifestations throughout Europe.  Given the high pertinence, the relations between the informal economy and the economic crisis are equally scrutinized. Questions such as ‘what is the informal economy?’, ‘what is the importance of the informal economy?’, ‘how can we understand this phenomenon?’, ‘what is the relation between the informal economy and the economic climate?’ have a central position during this study day. Two major approaches are combined: an academic approach with contributions of different European academics and a field/experience approach with contributions of Belgian experts in the field.


After a general introduction on the informal economy in Belgium, its manifestations in practice are unfolded. More specifically, practitioners share their experiences and expertise related to (informal) activities in the sectors seasonal work and sex work. In addition, special attention will be given to the policy related to different forms of informality. The afternoon sessions focus on the international perspective, by analysing the informal economy in different sectors in varying countries. 


P. Ponsaers, A. Crawford, J. de Maillard, J. Shapland & A. Verhage (eds.) 
Crime, violence, justice and social order. Monitoring contemporary security issues (GERN Research Paper Series, nr 1)


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