Title
Informalization, poverty and inequality in Kinshasa
Author
Faculty/Department
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Publication type
conferenceObject
Publication
Subject
Sociology
Source (journal)
Proceedings of the international conference "Living on the Margins", Stellenbosch (South-Africa)
Volume/pages
(2007)
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
As a consequence of a concatenation of external and internal events, the economy of Congo DRC has informalised to an unprecedented level over the last decades. Yet, a comparison between historical datasets and a recent household survey in the capital city of Kinshasa demonstrates that surprisingly, this process of informalisation has not resulted in over-all economic regress, a result which confirms earlier conclusions based on trends in human development indicators. Further, informalization does seem to go hand in hand with increasing income inequality. On the basis of household survey data and secondary sources, the paper tries to connect these phenomena to their underlying causes. On the one hand, we trace this particular evolution in the capital city to the position of the city in relation to both its hinterland and the global economy. The observed change in urban diets directly connects to shifts in production patterns in the interior as well as in changes in external trade flows. On the other, we look at the role of classical markers like gender, ethnicity and education in generating and sustaining inequality. Unexpectedly, education remains an important predictor of inequality even in a thoroughly informalised economy. This finding has to be connected to a critique of analyses of informality as a neatly bounded sector. If this view is at all relevant, it is not applicable to Kinshasa
E-info
http://www.povertyfrontiers.org/ev_en.php?ID=1915_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC
Handle