Intimations of Keith Hart’s ‘Informal Economy’ - In the Work of Henry Mayhew, P T Bauer and Richard Salisbury

46 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2012 Last revised: 7 Jun 2012

See all articles by John D. Conroy

John D. Conroy

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: March 12, 2012

Abstract

This paper considers the idea of informality in market exchange, as introduced into the economic development literature by Keith Hart in the 1970s. In addition to Hart (1971, 1973) it will discuss three writers who may be considered his intellectual forerunners. Each, to a greater or less degree, anticipated the idea of informal economic activity and described it in a particular historical period and place. They are the mid-Victorian journalist Henry Mayhew (London, c.1850), the libertarian economist P. T. Bauer (British West Africa, c.1948) and the economic anthropologist R. F. Salisbury (colonial New Guinea, c.1952-1963). The principal texts relied upon are Mayhew’s monumental London Labour and the London Poor (4 vols, 1851-61), Bauer’s Economics of Under-Developed Countries (1957) and Salisbury’s From Stone to Steel (1962) and Vunamami: Economic Transformation in a Traditional Society (1970).

Keywords: informal economy, informal sector, Keith Hart, Henry Mayhew, P. T. Bauer, Richard Salisbury

JEL Classification: B20, B25, B31, J40, J49, O10, O17, Z10

Suggested Citation

Conroy, John David, Intimations of Keith Hart’s ‘Informal Economy’ - In the Work of Henry Mayhew, P T Bauer and Richard Salisbury (March 12, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2031291 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2031291

John David Conroy (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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