The Urban Informal Economy Revisited
Issue Editors : Ray Bromley and Tamar Diana Wilson
The distinction between “formal” and “informal” jobs and enterprises was first introduced in the 1970s and has been very widely used ever since. The underlying assumption was that the formal economy would gradually expand and dominate, and the informal economy would gradually disappear. The reality, however, associated with neoliberal economic development and growing socio-economic inequality, is that the informal economy has persisted and sometimes grown, and that job security and benefits in the formal economy have often diminished. This theme issue focuses on the informal economy under neoliberalism, with case studies of some of the most significant and persistent occupations. Several of the articles focus on the process of the “formalization” of informal workers, a goal expressed by the International Labour Organization, but often fraught with difficulties.
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