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Barriers to growth of the household services sector: some lessons from English urban areas

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Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically whether the main barrier to the growth of the household services sector is household disposable income. Reporting case study evidence from a study of 511 households in lower- and higher-income neighbourhoods in English urban areas, it is revealed that economic constraints account for less than half of the instances where formal services were not used. A large proportion of tasks is instead undertaken on an informal basis for reasons associated with the standardization, quality, ease and reliability of formal service delivery. The paper thus concludes by discussing how formal businesses could tackle these barriers to the expansion of the household services sector.

Keywords: England; commodification; consumer behaviour; household services; informal sector

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593960210151207

Affiliations: Reader in Economic Geography, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK;, Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5242, Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3854, Email: ccw3@le.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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