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American journalist and author of ‘Stealth of Nations’ Robert Neuwirth discusses points from his latest book which focuses on the informal economy or “system D.” Neuwirth defines the informal economy as the self-reliant, DIY economy that is mostly made up of bazaars or markets in the developing world. Robert Neuwirth also makes special note that the informal economy does not include the black market or any criminality, but legal products sold in a “quasi-legal” way.
Robert Neuwirth brings forth extraordinary data that tells us a lot about the informal economy many in North America may not be familiar with. Robert Neuwirth says that half the workers in the world are working in System D, which equates to 1.8 billion people, producing a total global value $10 trillion a year. He also points out that if System D was recognized as a single entity, it would qualify as the second largest economy in the world (second only to the U.S.).
Robert Neuwirth also discusses the reality of the informal economy, and projects “over the next 15 years, cities in emerging economies will create 50 percent of the world’s economic growth.” Since the informal economy is growing faster than the formal economy, it may be time to take notice.