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Dominican Republic: Informal Sector
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Labor > Informal Sector


Many Dominicans escaped formal government data collection, but nonetheless played a major economic role, particularly in the urban economy. Estimates of the size of the informal urban economy in the late 1980s ranged from 20 percent to 50 percent of the total urban labor force. Workers in the informal sector included self-employed people, unpaid family workers, domestic servants, and very small businesses or "microenterprises" of only a few workers in manufacturing and assorted services. Although little reliable data existed on the country's informal sector, many in that sector received economic assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (AID), the InterAmerican Foundation, and other development agencies to promote their expansion into the formal sector. Some observers believed that the growth of the informal sector was a response to the complex legal framework for business, restrictive exchange-rate controls, widespread informal financial markets, pricing and tax policies, and the often-cited Dominican preference for highly personal relations.

Data as of December 1989

Last Updated: December 1989

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Dominican Republic was first published in 1989. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 56 of 128


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