Poverty reduction and social development

Employment and Social Protection


News | Objectives of the ProjectGuiding QuestionsOutputsContact


DEV Working Paper No. 307: Labour Market Changes, Labour Disputes and Social Cohesion in China (January 2012)


Past events:


Is Informal Normal


In 2009, the Development Centre’s Poverty Reduction and Social Development flagship publication will cover as a main theme Employment and Social Protection. At the heart of this debate is the phenomenon of informal employment, a term broadly referring to non-registered and/or non-protected work. "Is Informal Normal?" assembles new empirical insights and analyses policies regarding labour markets, vulnerability and social insurance.


Objectives of the Project

As informal employment is not yet well understood, a first aim of this project is to map out the heterogeneity of types of informal work, rationales behind informal employment, as well as the well-being of the workers involved. This exercise will be performed for several countries in order to also shed light on the large differences between countries in this respect.

The challenge of informal employment is also one of governance. A second aim of this project is thus to identify the elements of a coherent policy strategy and a suitable regulatory framework that would integrate the employment and social protection agendas and would contribute to the fight against poverty and social exclusion. In particular, our project will try to outline ways to achieve internal coherence across various policy domains.


Guiding Questions

Several country case studies, including China, Mexico, and Romania, will help answer following questions:

  • How important is informal employment and what kind of activities does it concern?
  • How does formal or informal employment affect a person’s well-being? 
  • What are the main determinants explaining informal employment?
  • What are the relevant policies in place and to what extent can they be improved towards more effective and coherent strategies?



Following is a list of (expected) outputs and publications. Please note that the titles of publications and actual publication dates may change:




For more information, please contact us at Dev.Gender@oecd.org