EIB B244M: The Informal Economy and Financial Inclusion
The informal economy brims with activity and innovation, yet it is precisely its informality, that leaves it unshielded by the state. Seen as a hub of innovation and employment by some and as a shelter for tax-evasion and trafficking by others, the informal economy is a massive contributor to a country’s GDP. We begin with theory but very quickly enter into practical examples of how people cope in their informal world examining their businesses, their agricultural activities and their financial management. We end by glimpsing into the dark side of the informal economy - the shadowy areas of smuggling and informal finance. The course will give students an understanding of the vibrant and immense world that operates under a state’s regulatory radar so that as future policy-makers and practitioners they can design better protections, programs and products suited to the informal sector. Students who have taken B241 (Financial Inclusion) should not take this course.