CAF-Oxford Conference, November 2016
Understanding the Challenges of Informality in Latin America: Political, Economic and Social Dimensions
Despite some improvements during the 2000s as a result of the commodity boom, the informal sector remains significant in Latin America. For some countries, the informal labor market now far outstrips the size of the formal labor market, comprising nearly 60 per cent of the labor market. However, there is notable variation among countries across the region, and even in temporal trends, in the size of labor informality. Traditionally, academics and policymakers have focused on the economic dimensions of informality and in searching for ways to reduce it. Yet the political dimensions remain largely unexplored: what do companies and workers in the informal sector want? What are their preferences regarding tax and social policy? How do political parties respond to their needs? This conference will examine the political and distributive consequences of this variation in labor informality across the region and delve into the political preferences of informal workers.