Updated: May 21
Economic informality – originally identified by Keith Hart – arose under colonial rule because of the imposition of bureaucracy and the forced introduction or intensification of market economy. Informality challenges bureaucracy by failing to conform and a metaphor of pushback suggests how subject peoples accommodated themselves to colonial economy. The Western victors of World War II adopted an ideology of ‘economic development’. This provided a rich environment for the emergence of informal and hybrid economic behaviours in late-colonial territories and new states. The Informal Economy in Development explores these themes in the former German, British and Australian colonies which preceded the modern state of Papua New Guinea, while an Epilogue considers the present status and future prospects of economic informality in PNG. The book is available to download for free.