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The politics and institutions of informality and street vending in Mexico: the case of Mexico City

Gonzalez, Julio (2016) The politics and institutions of informality and street vending in Mexico: the case of Mexico City. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

The informal sector—which includes informal street vending—comprises any economic activity that takes place outside the regulatory norms of the state—the evasion of tax codes, zoning ordinances, etc.—but does not include the provision of explicitly illegal goods or services. The phenomenon of ‘informal street vending’ has generally been analyzed from a strictly economic point of view. This research examines informal street vending in Mexico, particularly in Mexico City, from political and historical perspectives. The thesis’ main goal is to learn how increasing political competition—resulting from democratization and alternation of political parties in power—affected the politics and policies of informality (informal street vending) in Mexico. To this purpose, this work carries out a historical analysis of informal street vending and the policies and regulations implemented over time in Mexico City; a detailed comparative political analysis of the ex-ante and ex-post situation of informal groups and organizations going through the democratization process and the alternation in power that occurred in Mexico at city and federal levels in 1997 and 2000, respectively; and a case study to examine the largest and most powerful street vending organization in Mexico City. The thesis concludes that increasing political competition—resulting from democratization and alternation in power— did not result in an improvement in the capacity of the Mexico City government or the federal government to control informality and street vending. While democratization and political competition opened the doors for representation and more political participation by street vendors, it also set the conditions for the expansion of the bargaining power of vendor leaders, the multiplication of vendor organizations, the exacerbation of the political struggle between rival vendor groups, and the weakening of the government capacity to implement policies to tackle informality and street vending.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Julio A. Gonzalez
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Philip, George and Panizza, Francisco
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3387

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