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Dominican Republic Table of Contents

Dominican Republic

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