Developing Poverty

The State, Labor Market Deregulation, and the Informal Economy in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic

By (author) José Itzigsohn

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 September 2000

Length of book:

216 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271020280

Using data from local surveys, interviews, and national statistics, this comparative study of two Central American cities similarly positioned in the world economy looks at how people make a living outside the mainstream of economic life, in the "informal economy," what opportunities they have for social mobility, and how state policies affect their life chances.

“This book is a very useful contribution both to Latin American and Caribbean studies and to the sociology of development. The author has an excellent grasp of theory, providing insightful syntheses of the literature on the state in development and on the informal economy. In this empirically rich study, he explores the important issue of whether or not state regulation of the labor market is positive for employment and incomes. He broadens this issue to include the question of the state’s developmental role in the economy. Basically, his purpose is to show that the state can have a positive developmental role and that its regulatory actions can reduce unemployment and raise incomes. He is thus arguing against a body of economic thinking that views economic development and wealth creation as best achieved by allowing market forces to have free play and by reducing the state’s regulatory actions.”

—Bryan Roberts, University of Texas