INFORMALITY CRUSADES: WHY INFORMAL PRACTICES ARE STIGMATIZED, FOUGHT AND ALLOWED IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS ACCORDING TO AN APPARENTLY UNUNDERSTANDABLE LOGIC
This paper suggests that informality and informal practices are present and persistent in the Global South and Global North. In contrast to current structuralist and neoliberal views, it maintains that the difference between countries where informality is more manifested and those where it is apparently lower is the extent to which a government and state institutions are capable to relegate informality to areas that are less important to policy and decision making. This, according to this paper, depends on three related sub-variables. One is the quality of regulation and the capacity of formal rules to limit informality to a number of spheres that do not affect the country substantially; the second is the compliance with the rules and the desire to comply with them while the third refers to the spheres of influence of informality: how visible they are and to what extent informality influences the functioning of a system. By doing this, this paper also engages with a discussion on the relationship between informality and democracy and suggests the existence of two kinds of informality, distinct by the capacity to cause direct or indirect harm to fellow citizens.
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