What is it about?

Informality is a concept that has been used by different researchers and discourses in order to depict a world that lies beyond formal structures and the known. This paper aims at analyzing the different ideas associated to the informal by developing a taxonomy of terms. Based on a limited literature sample the authors are able to show the range of ideas, as well as difference and communalities in the understanding of informality within different discourses.

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Why is it important?

Informality is a constant part of our daily lives. While more pervasive in the Global South it is an integral part of the economies in developed countries. Researchers and policy makers are interested in understanding informality but are often using references that deploy very different understanding of informality (e.g. informal housing vs. informal economy). A more nuanced understanding is required in order to improve current research and policy making. This paper is a first step in highlighting the diversity of understanding as a prerequisite for the development of a more comprehensive definition of informality.

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This page is a summary of: Towards a taxonomic understanding of informality, International Development Planning Review, October 2018, Liverpool University Press, DOI: 10.3828/idpr.2018.23.
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