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Is Informal Normal ?

Towards More and Better Jobs in Developing Countries

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The informal sector deprives states of revenues and workers of social protection. It also, however, frequently constitutes the most dynamic part of the economy and creates massive employment. Informal employment is ubiquitous and growing. The financial crisis that began in 2008 has made the management of informal employment even more challenging.  Responding to this emerging challenge is critical, not only for the well being of millions of workers but also for social development. Is Informal Normal? provides evidence for policy makers on how to deal with this issue of crucial importance for developing and developed countries alike. This book includes StatLinks, URLs linking charts and graphs to Excel files containing the data.

“In countries such as China, the exceptional scale of rural to urban migration amplifies the challenges from informality. This work provides valuable analytical results for understanding this major transformation, its problems and impacts.”

                       -Professor Li Shi, Beijing Normal University

“This volume is an important contribution to the current policy debates on the informal economy. It recommends providing support to the working poor in the informal economy, making formal structures more efficient and flexible and creating more formal jobs.”

                      -Professor Marty Chen, Harvard Kennedy School and WIEGO

“The strengths of this volume are many: evidence that “Informal Is Normal;” references to many newer studies and ways of thinking; the consistent three-pronged strategy; accessibility. Is Informal Normal? will serve as a reference in the literature on informality for years to come.”

                      -Professor Gary Fields, Cornell University

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Moving Out of Bad Jobs

More Mobility, More Opportunity

OECD Development Centre

One way for the poor to improve their living standards is to move from bad jobs to better ones. That can involve switching within sectors, between them, or from one place to another. This mobility is not an option for everyone and many barriers exist: nor is it necessarily the case that leaving one job for another will automatically bring extra earnings. But there is more mobility in informal employment than might be expected and overall in many cases mobility for the poor does increase their earnings. Integrated policy frameworks spanning employment, social policies and migration are needed in order to ease the transition to better jobs.

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