Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 39 Nos. 2

Choices or Constraints? Informality, Labour Market and Poverty in Mexico

Published on 1 May 2008

The economic and social transformations that have taken place in Mexico during the last three decades have influenced the way labour markets operate and have had an important impact in the number of poor households, their livelihoods and their capacities to use their labour force as a means to obtain incomes for their increasingly constrained economies.

We discuss the ‘voluntary’ entrance of workers in the informal labour market, drawing on the work of Maloney (2004) and others, and critique this view on the basis of crucial economic and social trends that have shaped Mexican society today. We draw from our own long-term fieldwork and from recent analyses on social mobility and occupational mobility in order to show that there are more ‘constraints’ than ‘choices’ for workers within the more rigid labour and economic structure that prevails today.

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This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 39.2 (2008) Economic Growth, Social Protection and ‘Real’ Labour Markets: Linking Theory and Policy

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Rocha, M., G. and Latapí, A., E. (2008) Choices or Constraints? Informality, Labour Market and Poverty in Mexico. IDS Bulletin 39(2): 37-47

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Mercedes González de la Rocha

Agustín Escobar Latapí

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published by
Institute of Development Studies


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