Dr. Aliaga-Linares' research interests include urban poverty, segregation, migration and informal economies in Latin America and the United States. She has studied street vending in a number of Latin American cities, including Bogotá, Lima, and Santiago de Chile, and has collaborated with grassroots organizations working with day laborers and immigrant entrepreneurs in the United States. Dr. Aliaga-Linares have contributed to many community-based research projects. Prior to her arrival in the United States, she was a community-based researcher for the NGO Alternativa in Lima-Peru. During her graduate studies in Austin-Texas, she assisted the Workers Defense Project with the collection of information about day laborer's hiring practices to advocate for the 2005 anti-soliciting bill. She has also served as a consultant to various development agencies such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the International Labor Organization. She is also actively collaborating with the Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), and global advocacy network supporting informal workers labor rights.
Contrasts the history of street-based farmer's market vendors in Chile with the efforts of other countries to move vendors to off-street venues.
Argues that the incorporation of the informal economy framework into local governments’ policymaking has reframed street trade as a subject of policy. Traces a shift from worker-centered initiatives,through the deregulation of street trade, to entrepreneurial-centered approaches.
Describes the evolution of street vending in these areas, including the move from open-air to roofed markets, and the evictions and marginalization that can occur in these processes.
Analyzes the demographic growth of Latinos in Nebraska, and the impact of the Great Recession on their economic stability and well-being.
Traces the specific nature of the growth of Latino businesses in Nebraska.