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March 05 , 2009

The Urban Informal Sector: Critical Perspectives on Employment and Housing Policies


The Urban Informal Sector is a collection of papers presented at a multi-disciplinary conference on ""The urban informal sector in the Third World,"" organized by the Developing Areas Study Group of the Institute of British Geographers in London on March 19, 1977. Contributors offer critical perspectives on the urban informal sector, with emphasis on employment and housing policies. Topics covered range from general reviews and national case studies to detailed studies of particular occupations in individual cities.
This book is comprised of 12 chapters and begins by reviewing the relevance of dualist models of economic activities and enterprises, as applied to Third World countries, concentrating on the origins, diffusion, and deficiencies of the formal/informal dualist classification. Subsequent chapters explore the informal sector debate in studies of Third World poverty and employment; the nature of informal-formal sector relationships; the structure of the labor markets in the ""organized"" and ""unorganized"" sectors of urban economies in South India; and the problem of urban poverty, its relation to employment, and rising spatial inequalities in Brazil. Capitalist and petty commodity production in Nigeria is also discussed, along with John Turner's views on housing policy. The final chapter looks at the competition between the informal and formal sectors in the retail industry in Santiago, Chile.
This monograph will be of interest to social and economic policymakers.
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