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The informal economy is an important part of urban economies in the global South. Almost half of Colombia's working population relies on the informal economy to obtain income. This study examined street vendors in downtown Cali, Colombia. A recent survey of 527 street vendors provides the basis for a detailed analysis of who works as street vendors, how much they earn, aspirations and perceptions of their work, and how closely they resemble the rest of the working population. The presented data also show the links between this sector and the formal economy. Connections between people working in this sector and the State were also examined, and welfare payment flows from the State to the sector were revealed. This study shows how the informal sector is closely tied to the formal economy and the State's welfare functions.
Informal economy; Street vendors; Formal economy; Cali; Colombia
|Street vendors in Cali Colombia (©John Rennie Short)|