IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Function Of The Urban Informal Sector In Employment

  • Carmen Elisa Flórez


Registered author(s):

    The aim of this paper is to analyze the function of the informal sector in employment, its relationship to urban employment, with illustrative evidence from Colombia. The analysis is done for the period 1984 - 2000, which includes phases of boom and economic crisis as well as the implementation of neoliberal reforms to national development. The paper summarizes four competingapproaches to the conceptualization of the informal sector, and describes their measurement strategies. It argues that elements of state regulation are fundamental whereas firm size should not be considered as a defining element. Subsequently, it analyzes how the internal composition of the informal sector evolved, considering elements of state regulation, firm size, and dynamism ofthe economic activities. It examines the function of the informal sub-sectors in the urban labor market, using indicators such as relative earnings and size, and a crude indicator of labor mobility. At least three sub-sectors conforming theinformal sector are identified: salaried workers of large and small firms, entrepreneurs and subsistence workers. It is argued that each sub-sector of the informal sector responds in different ways to prevailing economic conditions. The subsistence sub-sector supports the dualistic view, whereas the other twoare integrated to the formal sector. No dominant sub-sector permits broadrange generalizations about the" informal sector."

    If 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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 006883.

    in new window

    Length: 60
    Date of creation: 31 Mar 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:col:000089:006883
    Contact details of provider:

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Maloney, William F. & Nunez, Jairo & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiess, Norbert & Montenegro, Claudio & Murrugarra, Edmundo & Santamaria,Mauricio & Sepulveda, Claudia, 2001. "Measuring the impact of minimum wages : evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2597, The World Bank.
    2. Maloney, William, 2003. "Informality revisited," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2965, The World Bank.
    3. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
    4. Eduardo Lora & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 1997. "La legislación laboral en el proceso de reformas estructurales de América Latina y el Caribe," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7625, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Maloney, William F. & Ribeiro, Eduardo, 2001. "Firm entry and exit, labor demand, and trade reform : evidence from Chile and Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2659, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000089:006883. 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: (Universidad De Los Andes-Cede)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.