Labor Market Informalization and Social Policy: Distributional Links and the Case of Homebased Workers
AbstractThis paper is based on the notion that the nature of current labor market informalization requires rethinking in order to guide action and formulate social policies for eliminating poverty and reducing economic inequality and job insecurity. It explores conceptually and empirically the dynamics of informality and demonstrates the interconnectedness of job precariousness, vulnerability and gender relations.There are five related aspects to this process of informalization that are explored in the conceptual framework namely: 1) increasing labor market flexibilization; 2) the weakening (even absence) of the labor contract; 3) rising income inequality and worker differentiation; 4) institutional questions related to ownership and appropriation of production; and 5) gender-related socially ascribed positions in society and within the household. The empirical section is based on the 2002 sample survey data of poor urban households engaged in home-based work collected in Bolivia and Ecuador as part of a four-country research project that attempts to understand the roles of financial and labor resources in the coping strategies of urban poor households as their countries undergo rapid global market integration, financial crises and economic restructuring. Using employment and decisionmaking information on heads and spouses in the Bolivian and Ecuador sample data, the empirical investigation provides a gendered analysis of the informalization of employment among men and women respondents in couples (or dual adults) households to highlight the interconnectedness of job precariousness and gendered relations. Specifically, we adopt a gendered approach in examining the link between gender-based roles and relations with worker vulnerability. The findings in the study points to the importance of rethinking social protection program for workers laboring in informalized settings. It concludes with a discussion of lthe different possible avenues for action to dealing with poverty and redressing regressive tendencies in the distribution of income and resources in the informal economy.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Vassar College Department of Economics in its series Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series with number 60.
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Maildrop 708, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie NY 12604-0708
Web page: http://irving.vassar.edu/VCEWP/VCEWP.htm
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-08-16 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marilyn Carr & Martha Alter Chen & Jane Tate, 2000. "Globalization and Home-Based Workers," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 123-142.
- Horton, Susan & Kanbur, Ravi & Mazumdar, Dipak, 1991. "Labor markets in an era of adjustment : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 694, The World Bank.
- Sachs, Jeffrey, 1987. "The Bolivian Hyperinflation and Stabilization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 279-83, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sean Flynn) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Sean Flynn to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.