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Explanatory factors behind formalizing non-farm household businesses in Vietnam

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Author Info

  • Jean-Pierre Cling

    ()
    (DIAL,IRD, Paris)

  • Mireille Razafindrakoto

    ()
    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • François Roubaud

    ()
    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

Abstract

(english) This article sets out to investigate the reasons why some household businesses decide to register and become formal (while others do not) in order to shed light on the origins of informality. We use qualitative as well as quantitative data on household businesses (HB) derived from first-hand representative surveys implemented in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. The study reveals that although most of the informal businesses operate ‘illegally’, this is more due to unclear registration legislation than the mark of a deliberate intention to evade the economic regulations.Among the different factors which influence the registration decisions, the reason for setting up the business appears to be a determining one: the more it is a real choice (businesses set up to be independent or to follow a family tradition) and the less a constraint (set up for lack of an job alternative), the more the HB is more inclined to be registered. Furthermore, the analysis highlights that incentives do prove decisive insofar as the probability of having a formal business is greater among HB heads who consider that registration provides at least partial protection from corruption. Besides, access to information, the market and large business orders also drive the informal entrepreneurs to register. These results stress the need for clarification of the legal framework as well as incentive policies in order to address the issue of informality. _________________________________ (français) Cet article se propose d'analyser les raisons pour lesquelles certaines unités de production (household businesses, HB) décident de s'enregistrer et de devenir formelles (et pourquoi d'autres ne le font pas) afin d'éclairer les origines de l'informalité. Nous mobilisons des données aussi bien quantitatives que qualitatives sur les HB, issues d'enquêtes représentatives et de première main conduite par nos soins à Hanoï et Ho Chi Minh ville. L'étude révèle que bien que la plupart des unités informelles opère "illégalement", ce trait procède plus d'une législation floue et méconnue que d'une volonté délibérée d'échapper aux régulations publiques. Parmi les différents facteurs qui jouent sur la décision de s'enregistrer, le motif qui a conduit à s'établir à son compte est déterminant : plus il s'agit d'un véritable choix (volonté d'échapper au salariat ou par tradition familiale) et moins il résulte d'une contrainte (manque d'alternative d'emploi), et plus le chef d'unité sera enclin à s'enregistrer. De plus, l'analyse met en évidence le rôle des incitations dans la probabilité de devenir formel. Ainsi, ceux qui considèrent que l'enregistrement protège (au moins partiellement) de la corruption sont plus nombreux à régulariser leur situation. Enfin, l'accès à l'information, aux marchés et aux commandes des grandes entreprises favorisent l'enregistrement. Ces résultats soulignent le besoin de clarification de la législation des entreprises ainsi que l'importance de politiques incitatives pour s'attaquer à la question de l'informalité.

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File URL: http://www.dial.ird.fr/media/ird-sites-d-unites-de-recherche/dial/documents/publications/doc_travail/2012/2012-20
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2012/20.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201220

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Related research

Keywords: Informal Sector; Vietnam; Registration; Corruption; Incentives.;

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References

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  1. Stoyan Tenev & Amanda Carlier & Omar Chaudry & Quynh-Trang Nguyen, 2003. "Informality and the Playing Field in Vietnam's Business Sector," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15084, October.
  2. Oostendorp, Remco H. & Trung, Tran Quoc & Tung, Nguyen Thanh, 2009. "The Changing Role of Non-Farm Household Enterprises in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 632-644, March.
  3. Moser, Caroline O. N., 1978. "Informal sector or petty commodity production: Dualism or dependence in urban development?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 6(9-10), pages 1041-1064.
  4. Rand, John & Torm, Nina, 2012. "The Benefits of Formalization: Evidence from Vietnamese Manufacturing SMEs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 983-998.
  5. Razafindrakoto, Mireille & Roubaud, François & Torelli, Constance, 2009. "Measuring the informal sector and informal employment: the experience drawn from 1-2-3 surveys in African countries," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10627, Paris Dauphine University.
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Cited by:
  1. Huu Chi Nguyen & Christophe Nordman & François Roubaud, 2011. "Who Suffers the Penalty? A Panel Data Analysis of Earnings Gaps in Vietnam," Working Papers DT/2011/15, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).

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