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Trends And Characteristics Of The Informal Economy And Its Components

Jacques Charmes
Published 2019 · Economics

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The size of the informal economy and of its main components can be assessed in terms of employment and in terms of contribution to GDP, based on the most appropriate and reliable sources available at country level. Pluri-activity (multiple jobs holding) is also highlighted as a major characteristic of informality. In order to assess the trends over time, it can be necessary to use indirect measures for periods when no direct data collection is available and averages by regions are unweighted in order to give an idea of the regional profile rather than reaching global figures of the phenomenon (that would require assumptions for missing countries). In all regions and in all countries, a peak of employment in the informal economy is observed for the period of the world financial crisis in 2008–2009. Among the main characteristics of the informal economy, it can be stressed that the larger the size of the informal economy, the larger the size of its component of microbusinesses in the informal sector and of its contribution to GDP.
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