Securing livelihoods: Informal economy practices and institutions

TitleSecuring livelihoods: Informal economy practices and institutions
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
Series EditorHillenkamp, I, Lapeyre, F, Lemaître, A
Number of Pages320
PublisherOxford University Press
Place PublishedOxford, United Kingdom
ISBN Number978-0-19-968701-5
KeywordsAfrica, informal economy, Latin America, social protection, vulnerability

Far from the vision of popular actors in the popular economy as reactionary and archaic, stubbornly resisting any move towards change, this book's overall aim is to contribute to a broadening and deepening of our understanding of the logic and socio-economic practices of those operating in the informal economy. It focuses on the vulnerabilities of these participants, resulting from high exposure to different risks combined with low social protection, and on the interactions between vulnerability and poverty. It considers security of livelihoods as the guiding principle for multiple practices in the informal economy. Thirteen studies, based on careful analyses of empirical data in different contexts in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, contribute to this multidisciplinary discussion.

This book describes how people develop their own strategies to solve their problems through the use of interpersonal networks, associations, and other community-based arrangements. Moreover, it shows that informal economy actors systematically reposition themselves vis-à-vis the State, markets, international, and national policies with the aim of enhancing their economic and social security, and they may do this either individually or collectively. The book emphasizes how adaptability of the informal economy can be influenced by such factors as the macroeconomic context, access to financial, technological, and information resources, infrastructure, social protection schemes, and the institutional environment within which adaptations occur. Case studies stress the need to reformulate questions relating to policy intervention based on a more thorough understanding of the perspective of informal economy actors.

Table of contents
Dharam Ghai: Foreword
1: Isabelle Hillenkamp, Frédéric Lapeyre, and Andreia Lemaître: Introduction: Informal Economy, Vulnerabilities, and Popular Security-Enhancing Practices
Part I. A Plurality of Socio-economic Logics: New Polanyian Approaches to Informality and Vulnerability
2: Andreia Lemaître: Popular Cooperatives and Local Development in Southeast Brazil: Towards Socio-Economic Pluralism
3: Isabelle Hillenkamp: Solidarity and Protection in Bolivian Popular Economy
4: Gonzalo Vázquez: Self-managed Work, Social Protection, and Community Development: The Case of the UST Cooperative (Argentina)
5: Maïté le Polain and Marthe Nyssens: An Analysis of the Socio-economic Logics Underpinning Formal and Informal Strategies for Coping with Economic Hardships in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Part II. The Role of Financial Practices and Institutions in Securing Livelihoods
6: Hadrien Saiag: Financial Practices as Adaptations to Increasing Vulnerability: The Dynamics of Solidarity and Protection in the Suburbs of Rosario, Argentina
7: Genauto Carvalho de França Filho, Ariádne Scalfoni Rigo, and Jeová Torres Silva Júnior: Microcredit Policies in Brazil: An Analysis of Community Development Banks
8: Solène Morvant-Roux, Isabelle Guérin, and Marc Roesch: Demand for Microcredit, Informal Finance and Vulnerability in Rural Morocco
9: Pierre-Germain Umuhire and Marthe Nyssens: Informal and Formal Microfinance in Urban Sub-Saharan African Markets: The Case of Micro-Entrepreneurs in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
10: Edoardo Totolo: Exploring the Black-Box of Economic Informality: Social Networks and Institutional Change among Micro and Small Enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya
Part III. Formalizing the Informal? A Critical Assessment
11: James Heintz and Lynda Pickbourn: Determinants of Earnings in Informal Self-Employment: The Case of Ghana
12: Sergio Ferragut and Georgina M. Gómez: From the Street to the Store. The Formalization of Street Vendors in Quito, Ecuador
13: An Ansoms and Jude Murison: Formalizing the Informal in Rwanda: From Artisanal to Modern Brick and Tile Ovens
14: Basak Kus: Neoliberal Reforms, Regulatory Change and the Informal Economy: The Case of Turkey from a Comparative Perspective Jean-Philippe Peemans: Postface: Another Look at the Informal Sector, its Many Stakes and Challenges