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|Meet Day||M/W||10:10 AM - 11:30 AM||BL-1|
Since its"discovery" in the early 1970s, the informal economy has attractedmuch interest and debate. Despite early predictions to thecontrary, the informal economy has continued to grow, appearing innew guises and new places. Today, at least half of the workforce inmost developing countries -- as much as 90% of the workforce insome countries -- is informally employed. Many of the workers intoday's global production system are informally employed. Giventhese trends, there is renewed interest in -- and rethinking of --the informal economy. The course begins with an overview of thehistorical debates, recent rethinking, and current evidence on theinformal economy, including its size, composition, causes, andconsequences. Special attention is given to the conditions andperspectives of the working poor in the informal economy,especially in the context of the recent economic crisis and currentmodernization of cities. The course focuses on alternative policyand programmatic responses to the informal economy, from regulatingand taxing informal enterprises to promoting the productivity,rights, and protection of informal workers.