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The Informal Sector

The Informal Sector by some other names ...

Many of the names by which the 'informal' sector is called - as listed below - essentially characterizes it in terms of what it is not: it is not the formal sector (non-formal), it is not controlled by the government (non-plan, hidden, unofficial, unrecorded), it is not legal (iilegal, black, shadow) and it is not taxable (unrecorded, parallel).

But recent research and exploration on the issue has resulted in a more benign approach, where the names and definitions have used the characteritics of the sector itself (casual, family enterprise). Some emphasize its poverty focus (subsistence, petty comodity, one-person entreprize) as well as its 'temporary' nature (transient, intermediate). In reality, it is all of these taken together, that define all the characteristics of the sector!


Black Market
Casual Work
Clandestine Activities
Community of the Poor
Family-enterprise Sector
Hidden Sector
Informal Economy
Informal Opportunities
Informal Sector
Intermediate Sector
Invisible Sector
Irregular Sector
Lower-circuit of the Urban Economy
Non-Plan Activities
Non-Westernized Sector
One-Person Enterprise
Parallel economy
People's Economy
Petty Commodity Production
Shadow Economy
Trade-Service Sector
Transient sector
Underground Economy
Unobserved Economy
Unofficial Economy
Unorganized Sector
Unrecorded Economic Activities
Unremunerated Sector
Unstructured Sector
Urban Subsistence Sector

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Comments and suggestions - hsrinivas@gdrc.org