Informal Sector & Property Rights

The informal economy comprises half to three-quarters of all non-agricultural employees in developing countries. In countries with large informal sectors, business activities go unrecorded, taxes are not paid, opportunities for corruption are rampant, and many citizens are not able to participate in public policymaking. Informality is a symptom of underlying institutional problems. To harness the capital locked in the informal sector, governments must offer incentives that encourage entrepreneurs to formalize, such as a simplified business registration process.

CIPE and its partners have developed key solutions that can help bring entrepreneurs into the formal economy. One of the most important factors is private property rights – in many developing countries, there is a gap between what is “on the books” and what happens in real life. To effectively reduce informality, governments must ensure that property rights are clearly defined, strongly enforced, and accessible to all citizens.

Informal Sector & Property Rights Programs at CIPE

Through its programs and international partnerships, CIPE helps formalize the informal sector and improve property rights protection in these areas:

  • Raise awareness about the extent of the informal sector in economies.
  • Promote reforms to remove barriers to business that fuel informality.
  • Strengthen the legal framework for well-defined and enforceable property rights.
  • Emphasize the need for institutions that make property rights available to all citizens.
  • Empower women and other groups often excluded from formal property ownership.

Read more about informal sector and property rights programs at CIPE.

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Related Publications

International Youth Day 2015

Inclusive, participatory democracies thrive when all citizens, including youth, are engaged. Communities benefit when young people play an active role in the economy and the policymaking process. When youth are active stakeholders, societies become more democratic because governments and markets become more accountable to their citizens.

In celebration of International Youth Day, this month’s Feature Service Article highlights the work of recent CIPE-Atlas Corps Think Tank LINKS alumnus – Bahaa Eddin Al-Dahoudi, Hiba Safi, Huma Sattar, and Lawrence Yealue. Their articulate stance on their country’s political, economic, and social issues highlight how youth are helping strengthen democracies around the world. All of the following pieces were originally posted on CIPE’s Development Blog.

Strategies for Policy Reform Volume 3

Case Studies in Achieving Democracy That Delivers Through Better Governance


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