Is the Informal Sector Constrained from the Demand Side? Evidence for Six West African Capitals
AbstractEmploying a unique dataset that covers households from six West African capitals, this paper provides new evidence on the demand for informal sector products and services. We first investigate whether demand linkages exist between formal and informal products and distribution channels, and whether there is an overlapping customer base, which would imply that both formal sector wage earners and informal workers buy both formal and informal products using both formal and informal distribution channels. In a second step, we estimate demand elasticities based on Engel curves. We find a strongly overlapping customer base and strong demand-side linkages between the formal and informal sector, with the exception that informal goods are hardly bought through formal distribution channels. The estimated demand elasticities tend to show that rising incomes are associated with a lower propensity to consume informal sector goods and to use informal distribution channels. We therefore conclude that the informal sector in West Africa is likely to be constrained from the demand side
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1683.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Informal sector; formal-informal linkages; Engel curve estimates; West Africa;
Other versions of this item:
- Böhme, Marcus & Thiele, Rainer, 2012. "Is the Informal Sector Constrained from the Demand Side? Evidence for Six West African Capitals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1369-1381.
- Thiele, Rainer & Böhme, Marcus, 2011. "Is the Informal Sector Constrained from the Demand Side? Evidence for Six West African Capitals," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 76, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
- Thiele, Rainer & Böhme, Marcus, 2011. "Is the Informal Sector Constrained from the Demand Side? Evidence for Six West African Capitals," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 48307, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2011-03-05 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2011-03-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2011-03-05 (Development)
- NEP-LAB-2011-03-05 (Labour Economics)
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