Merchants have continually exploited the economic concept of uninformed demand and information asymmetry to maximize earnings, meaning selling lower quality goods and services at higher-than-market prices because the product is perceived by uninformed customers as of higher-than-actual quality. Peripatetic peoples, ethnically-recruited, kin-based spatially-mobile service providers, (a.k.a. "service nomads") also take advantage of this market failure by soliciting households, businesses, and individuals to purchase discount services, which are frequently of lower quality than advertised and that of sedentary providers. These underground service nomads create and exploit uninformed demand markets through a combination of costsaving methods, a wide range of practiced story-telling strategies, and competitive advantage arising from impulsive demand created by conveniently meeting demand points individually where they exist. This strategy has proved remarkably successful, for service nomads have been able to earn substantial profits selling home repair and auto body repair services in the United States for decades. This study tests whether and how closely service nomads follow the principles of uninformed demand by measuring the effect of individual information asymmetry on per-transaction earnings, as well as and the attraction of locations' demographic characteristics related to uninformed demand markets on the quantity of provided peripatetic home repair services using detailed police reports on underground service nomad-related crimes collected by law enforcement agents specializing in what is known in their discourse as bunco or "transient" crimes. Space plays a dynamic and essential role in organized informal economic activity; therefore, these economies deserve more attention from researchers, especially economic geographers.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Chohaney, Michael L., "Diving for cover: The economics of the modern subduction of American peripatetic (Romani, Traveller, Ref) repair services providers into the underground economy" (2015). Department of Geography and Planning. 5.
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