IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Coping strategies in developed and developing societies: the workings of the informal economy


  • Madeleine Leonard

    (Dept of Sociology and Social Policy, Queen's University of Belfast, UK)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the persistence and significance of informal economic activity in both the developed and developing world. Drawing on empirical work carried out in Belfast, the paper suggests that many similarities exist between the informal economic activities of people on low incomes in Belfast and the poor in developing countries. The paper illustrates these connections through an examination of three aspects of the informal economy: reciprocity between households, informal self-employment and informal paid employment. By examining the variety of ways in which people at the lower end of the economic scale attempt to secure their economic livelihoods in the absence of formal employment opportunities, the paper demonstrates the global nature of the informal economy. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Madeleine Leonard, 2000. "Coping strategies in developed and developing societies: the workings of the informal economy," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(8), pages 1069-1085.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:8:p:1069-1085 DOI: 10.1002/jid.696

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cole, William E. & Fayissa, Bichaka, 1991. "The urban subsistence labor force: Toward a policy-oriented and empirically accessible taxonomy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 779-789, July.
    2. Portes, Alejandro & Blitzer, Silvia & Curtis, John, 1986. "The urban informal sector in Uruguay: Its internal structure, characteristics, and effects," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 727-741, June.
    3. Assaad, Ragui, 1993. "Formal and informal institutions in the labor market, with applications to the construction sector in Egypt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 925-939, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Tilman Brück, 2003. "Coping Strategies in Post-War Rural Mozambique," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 384, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. N. S. Chiteji, 2002. "Promises kept: enforcement and the role of rotating savings and credit associations in an economy," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 393-411.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:8:p:1069-1085. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.