Over the last thirty years a global shift in the nature of work and growth in the size and patterns of mobility of global migration has coincided with the erosion of labor regulations and the proliferation of informal employment across capitalist societies. These processes have contributed to the development of a hypothesis that growth in immigration, both “legal” and “illegal” coincides with growth in informal employment. At the same time, research makes an implicit connection between immigration, growth in labor market informality, and negative socio-economic outcomes for immigrant receiving societies. This connection between immigrants and the downgrading of labor markets has become particularly salient in policy deliberations across the globe. Yet, little remains known about the global flows of unskilled workers. Collectively, the stability and vitality of economies and labor markets depends on the ability to better understand the formation, dynamics, outcomes experienced by, as well as the theoretical and practical implications of this labor flow so as to aid in the design of effective policy that promotes economic and social development for all members of society.
This conference aims to stimulate research and discussion on the formation, dynamics, and consequences of the participation of migrants in the emerging global informal economy; as well as the economic, political, and social implications that such participation presents for migrant receiving and sending societies. Presentations will address a variety of issues, including: global trends in migration and the informal economy, socioeconomic integration, and sectoral panels focused on migrants engaged in informal employment in the construction, agriculture, and service industries.