Aspects of Informalization and Income Distribution in Developing Countries: A Modified Specific Factors Approach
AbstractThis paper explores aspects of increased informalization in developing countries with the help of a modified specific factors model with a fixed nominal wage in the formal sector, which is assumed to have a "lighthouse" effect on the informal sector wage. Both sectors produce a tradable good each, with informal sector production being embedded in international pro- duction networks. Comparative dynamic exercises that attempt to simulate recent economic developments in many developing countries yield plausible results, and suggest various channels for increased informalization. Contrary to standard sticky wage models, wage suppression in the formal sector leads to informalization. Changes in factor endowments create a conflict of interest between the owners of capital in the two sectors, unlike the canonical specific factors model where the conflict is between the owners of capital and labor. Finally, factors that lead to informalization are also likely to result in greater inequality in income shares between labor and capital even with nominal wages that are fixed and equal between the two sectors. JEL Categories: O17, O24, F11
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2006-03.
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Specific factors model; Ricardo-Viner model; informalization; international pro- duction networks; elasticity of factor substitution; wage rigidity.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- O24 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
- F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
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