Argentina's Informal Economy: A Case Study of Patria Grande upon the Informal Textile Industry
In order to strengthen their economic positions, developing nations like Argentina have produced laws aimed at salient informal manifestations. Argentina's 2005 law "Patria Grande" sought to answer public outcry after a deadly fire exposed the inhumane conditions of illegal textile workers. What is the relationship between public policy and informality, and what legal, economic, and social characteristics identify the informal economy generally, and in Argentina specifically? What is the historical foundation of Argentine informality, and how has it behaved in the 21st century? Finally, how did Patria Grande develop, and what lessons can we learn from its results?By taking a public policy approach to informality, this study unravels the current characteristics and the historical roots of Argentina's institution of informality. Three empirically recognized factors of informality are applied in a MIMC model and discussed with regard to Argentina's history and present condition. These indicators support that, since the 2001-2 crisis, the Argentine informal economy appears to be shrinking, but at a decreasing rate. An investigation into Patria Grande uncovers challenges in enforcement, societal biases toward inaction, and power imbalances and accountability crises imbedded in the production chain. This investigation aspires to be a model to identify and address informality in other sectors, and in other nations.
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