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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Social Forces
Title Reproduced inequality: Participation and success in the South African informal economy
Volume 76
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1998
Page numbers 1209-1241
Early studies of the informal economy have alternately argued either that employment in this secondary economy reinforces social inequality or that it dilutes it. More recent studies argue that the informal economy is varied in its types of jobs, simultaneously offering opportunities to many who would not have them in the formal economy yet further exploiting others. National level survey data from South Africa and the methods of stratification research are used in this study to examine employment in the informal economy and to compare levels of success attained in the informal and formal economies. Success in both economies tends to favor whites, men, and those with more education and experience; nonwhites, women, and the less educated are more likely to work in the informal economy. The key finding of this analysis is that success in terms of occupational status and income attainment follows patterns of stratification in the informal economy consistent with those in the formal economy.

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