E-formalization in Latin America: Accelerating in a region full of gaps

There is considerable debate on how technologies are changing labour market features, but less attention is directed to how public policies may take advantage of information and communication technology (ICT) to ease the transition to formality. While discussions continue on what works for formalization, an increasing number of interventions using ICT to ease the transition to formalization have been emerging in Latin America but with a low profile.

Most of them are isolated initiatives rather than part of an integrated strategy, but they demonstrate useful insights. These initiatives largely target intermediate or partial outcomes, such as registration or productivity improvements, rather than core informality indicators. Interestingly, the COVID-19 crisis has generated multiple innovations that could become part of a longer-term strategy in the region, especially for hard-to-reach groups such as informal workers or economic units.