WIEGO 20th Anniversary Research Conference

WIEGO Research Conference

Over the past two decades, WIEGO has been at the forefront of developing new concepts and methods for understanding and measuring the informal economy. To mark WIEGO’s 20th Anniversary, and to identify new paths for research and thinking on the informal economy, the WIEGO Network held a research conference at Harvard University in November 2017.

During the conference, presenters, discussants and other participants reflected on how thinking and research on the informal economy has evolved over the past two decades in their respective disciplines. Specifically, the conference sessions were organized around four relevant disciplines (economics, political science, law and urban planning/design) and around three key groups of urban informal workers (home-based producers, street vendors and waste pickers) to ground and inform the discussions. A principal objective of the conference was to provide a space for participants to identify future conceptual challenges and research gaps relating to the informal economy.

On this microsite, you can access:

  • Participant bios: A selected group of researchers and academics from around the world attended the conference, in addition to academics from Harvard University, MIT and the University of Massachusetts. Read brief bios from all of the research conference participants here.
  • Conference presentations: The conference was organized into ten sessions. Session topics included: the informal economy re-visited, informal employment, labor law and the challenge of enforcement, informality and economics, informality and urban planning and design, waste pickers, street vendors, homeworkers in global value chains, informal workers and the state, informal workers and social policy. There was also a concluding session on informality and development re-visited. Access participant presentations and associated notes from each of these sessions here. 
  • Coming soon: video recording of presentations made during the conference.
Informal Economy Topic