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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Illegal Subcontracting Practices in Low-End, Labor-Intensive Sectors

Monica Bolelli


 
An increasing number of firms in advanced economies worldwide rely on strategies of labor subcontracting that are fraudulent and sometimes entail criminal behavior. So far, and with few exceptions, the fact that the restructuring of production in advanced economies is also revolving around illicit and fraudulent business practices has not received much attention. This research aims to understand: 1. How business strategies that entail some elements of illegality in low-end labor-intensive sectors emerge and are sustained; and 2. How the labor market is changed through the interaction of legality and illegality in the subcontracting of employment. In order to do this, the project uses qualitative research methodology to understand and compare the practice behind what is considered formally legal and what is formally an illegal form of subcontracting. It also considers the way in which the state codifies and implements the laws on subcontracting, contributing to specific outcomes in the labor market. The focus of the project is on subcontracting practices in Northern Italy, where cooperatives with uncertain legal status are emerging as players in the subcontracting market in labor-intensive sectors. Project duration: October 2018 to March 2022.
 

 
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