- The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Poverty
- List of Contributors
- Poverty Measurement
- Structural Violence, Poverty, and Social Suffering
- Capability Deprivation
- Ideologies and Beliefs about Poverty
- How Politics and Institutions Shape Poverty and Inequality
- Linking Poverty and Children’s Development: Concepts, Models, and Debates
- Poverty Knowledge and the History of Poverty Research
- The Discourse of Deservingness: Morality and the Dilemmas of Poverty Relief in Debate and Practice
- Gender and Poverty
- Life, Death, and Resurrections: The Culture of Poverty Perspective
- The Historical Origins of Poverty in Developing Countries
- The Dynamics of Poverty
- People and Places Left Behind: Rural Poverty in the New Century
- Poor Neighborhoods in the Metropolis
- Segregation and the Perpetuation of Disadvantage
- Urban Poverty, Race, and Space
- Single and Cohabiting Parents and Poverty
- Job-Finding among the Poor: Do Social Ties Matter?
- Employment and the Working Poor
- Great Escapes and Great Divergences: Growth, Poverty, and Income Inequality on a Global Scale
- Intergenerational Mobility
- Economic Performance, Poverty, and Inequality in Rich Countries
- Material Deprivation and Consumption
- Hunger and Food Insecurity
- Poverty and Crime
- Poverty and Informal Economies
- Social Class, Poverty, and the Unequal Burden of Illness and Death
- Aid and Global Poverty
- The Welfare States and Poverty
- Social Policy, Transfers, Programs, and Assistance
- Poor People’s Politics
- Why and When Do Peasants Rebel?: Origins and Consequences of Rural Collective Action
- Unions and Poverty
- Housing Programs
- Microfinance and Financial Inclusion
- Conclusion: Toward a New Paradigm for Understanding Poverty
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines how the informal economy matters in the context of poverty and social inequality. It first presents a brief history of the concept and related theoretical perspectives and controversies before discussing the informal economic activities among the urban poor. In particular, it considers the informal economy between informal activities and the informal sector and describes three types of informal economies, along with their corresponding problems: the informal economy in the third world, to which corresponds a problem of development; the “second economy” in the Soviet Union, which complicates the question of the relationship between formal and informal; and the informal economy in contemporary Western societies. The article also explores what types of regulation emerge from informality and concludes with an assessment of methodological challenges and research priorities for the coming period of social science research on the urban poor.
Francois Bonnet, Assistant Research Professor, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) France.
Sudhir Venkatesh, Williams B. Ransford Professor of Sociology, Columbia University.
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