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Given the prevalence of informality, this article proposes a typology for classifying countries by the extent and nature of employment in the informal economy, rather than by the composition of their formal economies. The author analyses ILO data on employment in the informal economy in 36 developing countries, and shows that there is a significant correlation between cross-national variations in the degree and intensity of informalization and cross-national variations in social and economic indicators such as levels of GNP per capita, corruption, poverty, taxation and social contributions. The article concludes by discussing implications for theory and policy.