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Constrained gazelles. High potentials in West Africa’s informal economy

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  • Grimm, M.
  • Knorringa, P.
  • Lay, J.

Abstract

The informal sector is typically characterised as being very heterogeneous and possibly composed of two clearly distinct segments, sometimes called the lower and upper tier. However, empirical evidence shows that even among lower tier entrepreneurs profitability can be quite high. We combine these findings and develop an innovative approach to identify what we call ‘constrained gazelles’, next to the well-known survivalists in the lower tier and growth-oriented top-performers in the upper tier. Our sample of informal entrepreneurs in seven West-African countries allows to link the relative size of these three groups to the structural and macroeconomic environment in these countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague in its series ISS Working Papers - General Series with number 537.

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Date of creation: 09 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:31826

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Keywords: West-Africa; capital; entrepreneurship; informality; managerial ability; targeting;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Margolis, David N., 2014. "By Choice and by Necessity: Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment in the Developing World," IZA Discussion Papers 8273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. M. Arouri & A. Ben Youssef & Ceyhun Elgin, 2014. "Informal economy in Africa: Building human capital to set the Gazelles free," Working Papers 2014/04, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  3. Verrest, Hebe, 2013. "Rethinking Microentrepreneurship and Business Development Programs: Vulnerability and Ambition in Low-income Urban Caribbean Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 58-70.

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