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Alleviating Poverty in Nigeria through the Improvement of the Labour Conditions in the Informal Economy

A Socio-ethical Enquiry


Samuel Rapu

«Just wage and just working conditions have always occupied a central position in Catholic social ethics. The social teaching of the Catholic Church has however preoccupied itself for a long time with the employment relationships in the formal economy. Consequently, the self-employment and the other individual economic activities in the informal economy, highly important in developing countries, have until now not been ethically reflected upon. In this excellent study, the author takes the Nigerian situation as a point of departure from which he offers new opportunities for developing a poverty alleviation strategy that aims, above all, at creating Decent Work opportunities in the informal economy. This is indeed an excellent contribution not only to the further development of the Catholic social ethics for the African context but also to the current efforts in the continent at reducing poverty in a sustainable way.»
Professor Dr. Bernhard Emunds, Frankfurt am Main


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CONTENTS VII FOREWORD XIII ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS XV ABBREVIATIONS XVII GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER ONE 5 The Problem of Poverty 5 Introduction 5 1.1 Conceptual Framework 5 1.1.1 Definition 5 1.1.2 Types of Poverty 7 1.2 Measuring Poverty 8 1.2.1 Measurement by Income and Consumption 8 1.2.2 The Human Poverty Index (HPI) 11 1.3 Working Poverty 12 1.3.1 Definition 13 1.3.2 Trends and Estimates 15 Global Estimates 15 Sub-regional Estimates 16 1.4 Causes of Poverty 17 1.4.1 Bad National Governance 18 1.4.2 Colonialism 21 1.4.3 Deficiencies in Global Economic Governance 22 1.5 Conclusion 30 CHAPTER TWO 33 Informal Economy in General 33 Introduction 33 2.1 Conceptual Framework 33 2.1.1 Initial Concept: Informal Sector 34 2.1.2 New Concept and Expanded Definition 37 2.1.3 Some Misconceptions about the Informal Economy 40 Black or Criminal Economy 40 Reproductive or Care Economy 41 Micro and Small-Scale Enterprises (MSEs) 41 2.2 People in the Informal Economy 44 2.2.1 Categorization 44 2.2.2 Most Vulnerable Groups 46 Women 46 Children and Young People 47 VIII 2.3 Size and Contributions of the Informal Economy to Economic Development 48 2.4 The Conditions of Work in the Informal Economy 50 2.4.1 Security Gap 51 2.4.2 Decent Work Deficit 53 2.5 Factors Responsible for Informality and its Expansion 57 2.5.1 Governance: Weak Legal and Institutional Frameworks 57 2.5.2 Poor Economic Performance and Non-pro-poor Economic Growth 59 2.5.3 Flexible Specialization and Global Chains 61 2.6 Linkages between Poverty and the Informal Economy 63 2.7 Conclusion 64 CHAPTER...

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