UNU-WIDER and WIEGO Webinar: COVID-19 and the Informal Economy

Impact, Recovery and the Future

UNU-WIDER and WIEGO Webinar: COVID-19 and the Informal Economy – Impact, Recovery and the Future

On 30 May, 2024, UNU-WIDER co-hosts a webinar with the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) to launch the COVID-19 and Informal Economy book. The webinar features an introduction by Ravi Kanbur, T.H. Lee Professor of World Affairs
International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, Professor of Economics, Cornell University.  Authors Martha Chen, Associate, Mittal South Asia Institute, Harvard University, Michael Rogan, Interim Director, Urban Policies Programme, WIEGO, and Kunal Sen, Director, UNU-WIDER, will share insights on the book. The webinar includes also a Q&A section with the attendees.

Image containing the text "Book launch, COVID-19 and the Informal Economy: Impact, Recovery and the Future. With Martha Chen, Michael Rogan, and Kunal Sen. Thursday 30 May, 20204, on Zoom. 09:00 ETD / 16:00 utc+3" The image also contains the UNU-WIDER and WIEGO logos, and the photos of Kunal Sen, Martha Chen, and Michael Rogan.
About the book

The global economy emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic only to enter a cost of living crisis. With the effects of these shocks to the labour market still fresh, this edited volume highlights some of the key lessons learned from the pandemic and charts a way forward for a sustainable and inclusive recovery. 

In particular, the key challenge for the post-COVID global economy is whether the disproportionate impact of the crisis on workers in informal economy, who form the majority of the world's workforce, will be addressed. Or whether harmful and negative stereotypes will persist. The contributors to the volume analyse the impact of the COVID crisis on informal workers in Asia, Africa and North and Latin America, interrogate whether and which economic recovery plans and schemes include informal workers, and explore what a more inclusive and sustainable recovery might look like for the majority of the world's workforce. These discussions are timely and represent an important opportunity for a forward looking response to successive crises which have set back progress towards growth and poverty reduction.

About the speakers

Martha (Marty) Chen is an Affiliate at the Mittal South Asia Institute, Harvard University.  She is also Co-Founder, Emeritus International Coordinator and Board Member of the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (www.wiego.org); Board Chair, UNU-WIDER;  and Board Chair,  BRAC Global.  An experienced development practitioner and scholar, her areas of specialization are employment, gender and poverty with a focus on the working poor in the informal economy.

Michael (Mike) Rogan is a Research Associate with WIEGO’s Urban Policies Programme. He is also an Associate Professor in Economics and Economic History, and an active member of the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU), Rhodes University, where he runs some of the largest projects. His research interests include: gender, informal employment, taxation, health, poverty and inequality, and education and skills development.

Kunal Sen is the Director of UNU-WIDER. Professor Kunal Sen has over three decades of experience in academic and applied development economics research. He is the author of eight books and the editor of five volumes on the economics and political economy of development. He is also a professor of development economics at lthe Global Development Institute, University of Manchester (on leave).