Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-r5zm4 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-21T21:02:45.443Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Informalities: An Index Approach to Informal Work and Its Consequences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 April 2022

Alisha C. Holland
Alisha Holland is an associate professor of government at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Calla Hummel
Calla Hummel is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA.


Image of the first page of this content. For PDF version, please use the ‘Save PDF’ preceeding this image.'
© The Authors 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the University of Miami

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Conflicts of interest: The authors declare none.



Agarwala, Rina. 2013. Informal Labor, Formal Politics, and Dignified Discontent in India. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Altamirano, Melina. 2015. Democracy and Labor Market Outsiders: The Political Consequences of Economic Informality. Ph.D. diss., Duke University.Google Scholar
Amengual, Matthew. 2015. Politicized Enforcement in Argentina: Labor and Environmental Regulation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Amengual, Matthew, and Dargent, Eduardo. 2020. The Social Determinants of Enforcement. In The Politics of Institutional Weakness in Latin America, ed. Daniel, M. Brinks, Levitsky, Steven, and María Victoria Murillo. New York: Cambridge University Press. 161–82.Google Scholar
Amengual, Matthew, and Fine, Janice. 2017. Co-Enforcing Labor Standards: The Unique Contributions of State and Worker Organizations in Argentina and the United States. Regulation & Governance 11, 2: 129–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
AmericasBarometer. 2019. Full dataset. Nashville: The AmericasBarometer by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP). Google Scholar
Auerbach, Adam Michael. 2019. Demanding Development: The Politics of Public Goods Provision in India’s Urban Slums. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Auerbach, Adam Michael, and Thachil, Tariq. 2018. How Clients Select Brokers: Competition and Choice in India’s Slums. American Political Science Review 112, 4: 117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Auerbach, Adam Michael, Adrienne LeBas, Alison E. Post, and Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro. 2018. State, Society, and Informality in Cities of the Global South. Studies in Comparative International Development 53, 3: 261–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Auyero, Javier. 2001. Poor People’s Politics: Peronist Survival Networks and the Legacy of Evita. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
Baker, Andy, and Ximena Velasco Guachalla, Vania. 2018. Is the Informal Sector Politically Different? (Null) Answers from Latin America. World Development 102: 170–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berens, Sarah. 2015. Between Exclusion and Calculating Solidarity? Preferences for Private versus Public Welfare Provision and the Size of the Informal Sector. Socio-Economic Review 13, 4: 651–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berens, Sarah. 2020. Opting for Exit: Informalization, Social Policy Discontent, and Lack of Good Governance. Latin American Politics and Society 62, 2: 128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bergman, Marcelo. 2018. More Money, More Crime: Prosperity and Rising Crime in Latin America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blofield, Merike. 2012. Care Work and Class: Domestic Workers’ Struggle for Equal Rights in Latin America. University Park: Penn State Press.Google Scholar
Blofield, Merike, Giambruno, Cecilia, and Filgueira, Fernando. 2020. Policy Expansion in Compressed Time: Assessing the Speed, Breadth and Sufficiency of Post-COVID-19 Social Protection Measures in 10 Latin American Countries. CEPAL, September. https:// Accessed January 28, 2021.Google Scholar
Blofield, Merike, Pribble, Jennifer, and Giambruno, Cecilia. 2021. The Politics of Social Protection During Times of Crisis. Paper prepared for the American Political Science Association Annual Conference, Seattle, September 30.Google Scholar
Brinks, Daniel M. 2007. The Judicial Response to Police Killings in Latin America: Inequality and the Rule of Law. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carnes, Matthew E., and Mares, Isabela. 2014. Coalitional Realignment and the Adoption of Non-Contributory Social Insurance Programs in Latin America. Socio-Economic Review 12, 4: 695722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carnes, Matthew E., and Mares, Isabela. 2015. Explaining the “Return of the State” in Middle-Income Countries: Employment Vulnerability, Income, and Preferences for Social Protection in Latin America. Politics & Society 43, 4: 525–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Castells, Manuel, and Portes, Alejandro. 1989. World Underneath: The Origins, Dyanamics, and Effects of the Informal Economy. In Portes et al. 1989. 11–41.Google Scholar
Collier, Ruth Berins, and Handlin, Samuel. 2009. Introduction: Popular Representation in the Interest Arena. In Reorganizing Popular Politics: Participation and the New Interest Regime in Latin America, ed. Collier and Handlin. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. 3–32.Google Scholar
Cross, John. 1998. Informal Politics: Street Vendors and the State in Mexico City. Stanford: Stanford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
CSES. 2018. The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems. Module 4 Release. May 29, 2018 version. doi: 10.7804/cses.module4.2018-05-29 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Paula, Áureo, and Scheinkman, José. 2007. The Informal Sector. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Accessed November 28, 2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Soto, Hernando. 1989. The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
Dewey, Matías. 2012. Illegal Police Protection and the Market For Stolen Vehicles in Buenos Aires. Journal of Latin American Studies 44, 4: 679702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dewey, Matías. 2020. Making It at Any Cost: Aspirations and Politics in a Counterfeit Clothing Marketplace. Austin: University of Texas Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dosh, Paul. 2010. Demanding the Land: Urban Popular Movements in Peru and Ecuador, 1990–2005. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
Feierherd, Germán. 2021. Courting Informal Workers: Exclusion, Forbearance, and the Left. American Journal of Political Science, December 24. Google Scholar
Fernández-Kelly, Patricia, and Shefner, Jon. 2006. Out of the Shadows: Political Action and the Informal Economy in Latin America. University Park: Penn State Press.Google Scholar
Filgueira, Fernando, and Blofield, Merike. 2020. COVID19 and Latin America: Social Impact, Policies and a Fiscal Case for an Emergency Social Protection Floor. CIPPEC. Accessed January 28, 2021.Google Scholar
Filgueira, Fernando, Miguel Galindo, Luis, Giambruno, Cecilia, and Blofield, Merike. 2020. América Latina ante la crisis del COVID-19: vulnerabilidad socioeconómica y respuesta social. Políticas Sociales 238. Accessed January 28, 2021.Google Scholar
Fischer, Brodwyn. 2008. A Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Twentieth-Century Rio de Janeiro. Stanford: Stanford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garay, Candelaria. 2016. Social Policy Expansion in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gay, Robert. 1994. Popular Organization and Democracy in Rio de Janeiro: A Tale of Two Favelas. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
Goodfellow, Tom. 2012. State Effectiveness and the Politics of Urban Development in East Africa: A Puzzle of Two Cities, 2000–2010. Ph.D. diss., London School of Economics.Google Scholar
Grossman, Shelby. 2019. The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: Evidence from Lagos. World Politics 72, 1: 4779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guha-Khasnobis, Basudeb, Kanbur, Ravi, and Ostrom, Elinor. 2007. Linking the Formal and Informal Economy: Concepts and Policies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Holland, Alisha C. 2015. The Distributive Politics of Enforcement. American Journal of Political Science 59, 2: 357–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holland, Alisha C. 2017. Forbearance as Redistribution: The Politics of Informal Welfare in Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holland, Alisha C., and Palmer-Rubin, Brian. 2015. Beyond the Machine: Clientelist Brokers and Interest Organizations in Latin America. Comparative Political Studies 48, 9: 11861223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holland, Alisha C., and Ross Schneider, Ben. 2017. Easy and Hard Redistribution: The Political Economy of Welfare States in Latin America. Perspectives on Politics 15, 4: 9881006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hummel, Calla. 2017. Disobedient Markets: Street Vendors, Enforcement, and State Intervention in Collective Action. Comparative Political Studies 50, 11: 1524–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hummel, Calla. 2018a. Bribery Cartels: Collusive Corruption in Bolivian Street Markets. Latin American Research Review 53, 2: 217–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hummel, Calla. 2018b. Do Poor Citizens Benefit from Mega-Events? São Paulo’s Street Vendors and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Latin American Politics and Society 60, 4: 2648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hummel, Calla. 2021. Why Informal Workers Organize: Contentious Politics, Enforcement, and the State. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hummel, Calla, Michael Touchton, Felicia Knaul, Velasco Guachalla, Ximena, Nelson-Nuñez, Jami, and Boulding, Carew. 2021. Poverty, Precarious Work, and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from Bolivia. Lancet Global Health, January 25. (January 28, 2021).Google Scholar
Hunter, Wendy, and Brill, Robert. 2016. “Documents, Please”: Advances in Social Protection and Birth Certification in the Developing World. World Politics 68, 2: 191228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hunter, Wendy, and Borges Sugiyama, Natasha. 2009. Democracy and Social Policy in Brazil: Advancing Basic Needs, Preserving Privileged Interests. Latin American Politics and Society 51, 2: 2958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
International Labor Organization (ILO). 2018. Women and Men in the Informal Economy: A Statistical Picture. 3d ed. Geneva: ILO.—en/index.htm Google Scholar
Itikawa, Luciana. 2006. Vulnerabilidades do trabalho informal de rua. São Paulo em Per-spectiva 20, 1: 136–47. Accessed January 5, 2020.Google Scholar
King, Desmond, and Rueda, David. 2008. Cheap Labor: The New Politics of Bread and Roses. Perspectives on Politics 6, 2: 279–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kurtz, Marcus J. 2004. Free Market Democracy and the Chilean and Mexican Countryside. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lessing, Benjamin, and Denyer Willis, Graham. 2019. Legitimacy in Criminal Governance: How to Build a Drug Empire from Behind Bars. American Political Science Review 113, 2: 585606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levy, Santiago, and Schady, Norbert. 2013. Latin America’s Social Policy Challenge: Education, Social Insurance, Redistribution. Journal of Economic Perspectives 27, 2: 193218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loayza, Norman, and Rigolini, Jamele. 2006. Informality Trends and Cycles. Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loayza, Norman, and Rigolini, Jamele. 2011. Informal Employment: Safety Net or Growth Engine? World Development 39, 9: 1503–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mainwaring, Scott, María Bejarano, Ana, and Pizarro Leongómez, Eduardo. 2006. The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Martin, Lucy. 2014. Taxation, Loss Aversion, and Accountability: Theory and Experimental Evidence for Taxation’s Effects on Citizen Behavior. Paper. Sites @ Duke Express. Google Scholar
Menéndez González, Irene. 2021. Insiders, Outsiders, Skills, and Preferences for Social Protection: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Argentina. Comparative Political Studies 54, 14: 25812610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moncada, Eduardo. 2016. Cities, Business, and the Politics of Urban Violence in Latin America. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Moncada, Eduardo. 2021. Resisting Extortion: Victims, Criminals, and the State in Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Nelson, Joan. 1970. The Urban Poor: Disruption or Political Integration in Third World Cities? World Politics 22, 3: 393414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ngonyama, Percy. 2010. The 2010 FIFA World Cup: Critical Voices from Below. Soccer and Society 11, 1–2: 168–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Perlman, Janice. 1976. The Myth of Marginality: Urban Poverty and Politics in Rio de Janeiro. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Perry, Guillermo. 2007. Informality: Exit and Exclusion. Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pinheiro-Machado, Rosana. 2011. Made in China: (In)formalidades, pirataria e redes sociais na rota China-Paraguai-Brasil. São Paulo: Anpocs.Google Scholar
Portes, Alejandro, Castells, Manuel, and Benton, Lauren A., eds. 1989. The Informal Economy: Studies in Advanced and Less Developed Countries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Post, Alison E., Bronsoler, Vivian, and Salman, Lana. 2017. Hybrid Regimes for Local Public Goods Provision: A Framework for Analysis. Perspectives on Politics 15, 4: 952–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Resnick, Danielle. 2019. The Politics of Crackdowns on Africa’s Informal Vendors. Comparative Politics 52, 1: 2151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rich, Jessica A. J., Mayka, Lindsay, and Montero, Alfred P.. 2019. Introduction: The Politics of Participation in Latin America: New Actors and Institutions. Latin American Politics and Society 61, 2: 120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roberts, Kenneth. 1995. Neoliberalism and the Transformation of Populism in Latin America: The Peruvian Case. World Politics 48: 82116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roberts, Kenneth. 2002. Social Inequalities Without Class Cleavages in Latin America’s Neoliberal Era. Studies in Comparative International Development 36, 4: 333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ronconi, Lucas. 2010. Enforcement and Compliance with Labor Regulations in Argentina. Industrial and Labor Relations Review 63, 4: 719–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rueda, David. 2005. Insider-Outsider Politics in Industrialized Democracies: The Challenge to Social Democratic Parties. American Political Science Review 99, 1: 6174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rueda, David. 2007. Social Democracy Inside Out: Partisanship and Labor Market Policy in Industrialized Democracies. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sánchez-Talanquer, Mariano. 2020. One-Eyed State: The Politics of Legibility and Property Taxation. Latin American Politics and Society 62, 3: 6593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schneider, Ben Ross, and Karcher, Sebastian. 2010. Complementarities and Continuities in the Political Economy of Labour Markets in Latin America. Socio-Economic Review 8, 4: 623–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thachil, Tariq. 2020. Does Police Repression Spur Everyday Cooperation? Evidence from Urban India. Journal of Politics 82, 4: 1474–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thelen, Kathleen. 2019. The American Precariat: U.S. Capitalism in Comparative Perspective. Perspectives on Politics 17, 1: 527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weyland, Kurt. 1996. Neopopulism and Neoliberalism in Latin America: Unexpected Affinities. Studies in Comparative International Development 31, 3: 331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
World Bank. 2019. Data Bank. series=SL.EMP.SELF.ZS&country=Google Scholar
Yashar, Deborah J. 2019. Homicidal Ecologies: Illicit Economies and Complicit States in Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar