Demography and Dispossession: Explaining the Growth of the Global Informal Proletariat, 1950-2000

This article develops a concept of demographic dispossession to explain the relatively autonomous role demographic growth has played, first, in the proletarianization of the global population and, second, in the informalization of the urban workforce. It then explores the reasons why demographic growth in Africa, Asia and Latin America tended to be more rapid and urban in character when compared to demographic growth in the high-income countries in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The End of Unemployment? The ILO and the Global Jobs Deficit, 1945-1995

Unemployment no longer measures labor market dysfunction. Large numbers of people are working but irregularly, in ways that are not captured by this metric. To deal with the gap between the concept and the reality it is meant to describe, all sorts of new concepts have been invented or reinvented: underemployment, informal work, vulnerable work, non-standard work, the gig economy, and so on. This article plays these recent developments in context by looking at the history of unemployment.