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Constrained Opportunities in Slum Economies

Slum economies play a critical role in fulfilling slum dwellers’ livelihood and consumption needs, while also making important contributions to the growing urban economies in developing countries. However, the economic opportunities of slum dwellers are constrained by significant barriers, including unsupportive – and in some cases, hostile – municipal environments, which fail to protect informal workers’ rights and provide sufficient infrastructure in slums; information asymmetries in the labor market that prevent equitable access to jobs; and insufficient access to resources (for example, skills, finance, and markets) that enable growth. These barriers constrain the income generation and economic mobility of slum dwellers, and limit access to affordable goods and services within slums.