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30 Years of economics for development

Despite Arthur Lewis’s predictions and arguments in the 1950s, it is clear that the informal sector is here to stay. Over the last half a century, the dynamics of rich and poor economies have further impressed the fact that ‘informality’ is not a passing phenomenon. In this context, this volume from UNU-WIDER is a great contribution to an appreciation of the opportunities and challenges in the informal sector. The countries selected show the rich experience in the informal sector of big and small economies from different regions of the world. A better understanding of the informality will enable policy makers and development practitioners to bring out the best from this sector, contributing to a world with more economic growth and less poverty. This book accomplishes this task very well. —Sudharshan Canagarajah, Senior Economist, the World Bank

Informal Labour Markets and Development

Palgrave Macmillan
Studies in Development Economics and Policy
Informal Labour Markets and Development
Edited by Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis and Ravi Kanbur
Publication date:
July 2006
ISBN Printed:
ISBN 13 Print:
Copyright holder:
Copyright year:
informal labour markets, globalization, informal employment, poor working conditions, urban slums
E26, O17, P37
Unlocking Human Potential Conference
hardback book
The informal sector has been the major sector of growth and labour absorption in most of the developed world. The perspective on the sector has changed—and is still changing—since its ‘discovery’ in the early seventies in the development literature. The editors have to be congratulated on bringing together this valuable collection from work in different parts of the world. It will be used widely by researchers and practitioners alike. —Dipak Mazumdar, Munk Center for International Studies, University of Toronto
For many poor urban and peri-urban households, informal sector is often the only route to livelihood and survival. In the context of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty, it is important to recognize that informal sector is not necessarily a ‘rag-bag’ of low-technology and low-productivity activities but one that can channel dynamism and the creativity of the poor; provided the right kind of institutional and policy environment is created. However, using a formal mechanism of policy to deal with issues of informal sector can be an oxymoron unless ingenious ways are used for deliberation and participation. The various chapters in this book make a timely contribution to deepen our understanding of some of the important challenges to enabling policies and facilitating institutions. —P.B. Anand, Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, UK
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