Conceptualizing the Survival Sector in Madagascar



Abstract:  This article calls for the recognition of a subsector of the informal economy, which is conceptualized as the “survival sector”. Based on empirical evidence from Antananarivo, Madagascar it is suggested that beggars, street children and other marginalized people constitute a separate, non-productive subsector of the economy, which is also distinguishable from formal and informal economies because of other aspects, such as the character of its social and economic networks, survival strategies, patterns of social and physical mobility, and the social and public spaces occupied. Given the vast number of marginalized people in the world, it seems useful to consider a survival sector of its own that is, despite interlinkages, fundamentally different from other components of the informal economy.