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Virus Lockdowns Confront Billions Working in the Shadow Economy

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Global Cost of Coronavirus Could Reach $4.1 Trillion: ADB

How do governments control activity in an economy they never really controlled in the first place? That’s an urgent question being asked for those who run the $35 trillion developing world as the coronavirus takes hold.

From the slums of Manila to remote villages in Colombia, some 2 billion people ply their trades in a barely-regulated and untaxed informal economy. The effort to contain the spread of a disease that’s so far infected around a million people may soon hinge on places hamstrung by weak institutions, constrained resources, and corruption.