Development Centre


Tackling Vulnerability in the Informal Economy

A majority of workers in the world are informally employed and contribute to economic and social development through market and non-market activities that are not protected, regulated, well-recognised or valued. This study provides an in-depth diagnosis of informality and the vulnerability prevailing in the informal economy. It explores new ideas to improve the lives of workers in the informal economy based on the ILO indicators of informality and the new OECD Key Indicators of Informality based on Individuals and their Household (KIIbIH). The report contributes in four ways to the global debate on the transition from the informal to the formal economy: 1) by examining the multiple faces of informality in a large sample of countries representing diverse conditions, locations and stages of development; 2) by presenting new empirical evidence on the links between informality and the development process; 3) by assessing risks and vulnerabilities in the informal economy, such as poverty and occupational risks, which can be mitigated with social protection and appropriate risk management instruments; 4) by showing that the transition to formality is a complex issue that touches on a wide range of policy domains.

Published on May 21, 2019

In series:Development Centre Studiesview more titles


Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive summary
Assessment and recommendations
Portraits of informality
Informality in the development process
Risks and vulnerabilities in the informal economy
Protecting informal economy workers and their dependents
Addressing the gender dimension of informality
Annexes2 chapters available
Definitions of informal economy, informal sector and informal employment
Additional tables - The Key Indicators of Informality based on Individuals and their Households (KIIbIH) Database*
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