Evaluating the Formalization of Work Thesis: Evidence from France
SAIS Review, 2001, Vol. XXI, No.1, pp. 117-122.
6 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2001
A widely held belief is that as economies become more “advanced,” there is a natural and inevitable shift of economic activity from the informal to the formal sphere (herein referred to as the “formalization of work” thesis). Hence, the existence of supposedly “traditional” informal activities is seen as a manifestation of “backwardness” that are assumed to disappear with economic “advancement” and “modernization.” The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically this formalization of work thesis. Taking France as a case study, we first outline the data available for France and, following this, the validity of the formalization of work thesis. Revealing that for some twenty-five years the French economy has been undergoing a process of informalization, we conclude by discussing the wider implications of this finding for understanding economic development.
Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, England
JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation