SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Canelas, Carla and Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel (2022) Social protection and the informal economy: What do we know? Bangkok: United Nations ESCAP, Social Development Division, Working Paper Series.

[img]
Preview
Text - Published Version
Download (790kB) | Preview

Abstract

This paper takes stock of the literature that examines how the recent expansion of contributory and non-contributory social protection programmes in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and Africa has influenced the conditions and incentive mechanisms that underpin work choices in the informal economy. In reviewing the literature, we adopt a systematic review methodology to identify studies, which through experimental, quasi-experimental, or qualitative research designs examine modalities and design features of these policies and how they impact the transition of formal (or informal) workers to the informal (or formal) economy. Overall, we find that the existing evidence base is too limited to draw definitive conclusions about ‘how’ the expansion of social protection systems is impacting the informal economy. While certain policy reforms to contributory social insurance schemes have produced desirable incentives for workers to formalise, other types of non-contributory programmes seem to discourage workers from entering the formal economy. These effects are nonetheless small and among certain populations. The study underscores the need for further research to better understand the conditions that seem to be detrimental for formalization and the mechanisms that underpin these effects; and how policy reforms could mitigate these unintended outcomes while procuring social justice and equity.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Working Paper)
Keywords: Social Protection, Informal Economy, Systematic Review
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2022 15:38
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/38289
Related URLs: https://www.une ... what-do-we-know (Organisation URL)
Funders: Other

Altmetric Data

There is no Altmetric data currently associated with this item.

Statistics

Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
179Downloads
6 month trend
277Hits
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item