What is it about?

The aim of this paper is to evaluate the varying level of employment in informal sector enterprises across the globe and to undertake an exploratory analysis of the wider economic and social conditions associated with greater levels of informalization.

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Why is it important?

Examining International Labor Organization surveys conducted in 43 countries, the finding is that the main job of just under one in three (31.5 percent) nonagricultural workers is in an informal sector enterprise. Conducting an exploratory analysis of the correlation between countries with higher levels of employment in informal sector enterprises and economic under-development (‘modernization’ thesis), higher taxes, corruption and state interference (‘neo-liberal’ thesis) and inadequate state intervention to protect workers from poverty (‘structuralist’ thesis), the finding is that there is a need to synthesize various tenets from all three perspectives. The outcome is a tentative call for a ‘neo-modernization’ perspective, which posits that higher levels of employment in informal sector enterprises are associated with economic under-development, public sector corruption and inadequate state intervention to protect workers from poverty.

Perspectives

This is one of the first papers to analyse the level of employment in informal enterprises in global perspective

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: BEYOND THE FORMAL ECONOMY: EVALUATING THE LEVEL OF EMPLOYMENT IN INFORMAL SECTOR ENTERPRISES IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, December 2013, World Scientific Pub Co Pte Lt, DOI: 10.1142/s1084946713500271.
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