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Modelling the Informal Economy in Mexico. A Structural Equation Approach

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  • José Brambila Macias

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)

  • Guido Cazzavillan

    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)

Abstract

This paper uses annual data for the period 1970-2006 in order to estimate and investigate the evolution of the Mexican informal economy. In order to do so, we model the informal economy as a latent variable and try to explain it through relationships between possible cause and indicator variables using structural equation modeling (SEM). The model uses tax burden, salary levels, inflation, unemployment and excessive regulation as potential incentives or deterrents for the informal economy. Our results indicate that the Mexican informal sector at the beginning of the 1970’s accounted for 40 percent of GDP, and then it slightly decreased to stabilize around 30 percent of GDP from the late 1980’s onwards. The results also confirm the importance of salaries and excessive regulation as causes of the informal economy in Mexico and the existence of a positive relationship between informality and GDP.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari" in its series Working Papers with number 2008_41.

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Length: 17
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2008_41

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Keywords: Informal Economy; Economic Growth; Structural Equations;

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  1. Trevor Breusch, 2005. "Estimating the Underground Economy using MIMIC Models," Econometrics 0507003, EconWPA, revised 25 Jul 2005.
  2. Guillermo Javier Vuletin, 2008. "Measuring the Informal Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 08/102, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Edgar L. Feige, 2004. "How Big IS the Irregular Economy?," Macroeconomics 0404005, EconWPA.
  4. Dell'Anno, Roberto, . "Estimating the Shadow Economy in Italy: a Structural Equation Approach," Economics Working Papers 2003-7, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  5. Roberto Dell’Anno & Miguel Gómez-Antonio & Angel Alañon-Pardo, 2007. "The shadow economy in three Mediterranean countries: France, Spain and Greece. A MIMIC approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 197-197, July.
  6. Friedrich Schneider & Bettina Hametner, 2007. "The shadow economy in Colombia: size and effects on economic growth," Economics working papers 2007-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. Loayza, Norman A., 1997. "The economics of the informal sector : a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1727, The World Bank.
  8. Brambila Macias, Jose, 2008. "The Dynamics of Parallel Economies. Measuring the Informal Sector in México," MPRA Paper 8400, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
  11. Angel Alanon & M. Gomez-Antonio, 2005. "Estimating the size of the shadow economy in Spain: a structural model with latent variables," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(9), pages 1011-1025.
  12. Roberto Dell’Anno & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2006. "Estimating the underground economy by using MIMIC models: A response to T. Breusch´s critique," Economics working papers 2006-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  13. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kaliberda, Aleksander, 1996. "Integrating the unofficial economy into the dynamics of post-socialist economies : a framework of analysis and evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1691, The World Bank.
  14. Christopher Bajada & Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "The Shadow Economies Of The Asia-Pacific," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 379-401, October.
  15. Roberto Dell'Anno & Offiong Helen Solomon, 2008. "Shadow economy and unemployment rate in USA: is there a structural relationship? An empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(19), pages 2537-2555.
  16. Goldberger, Arthur S, 1972. "Structural Equation Methods in the Social Sciences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 979-1001, November.
  17. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2011. "Institutions, policies and economic development. What are the causes of the shadow economy?," Working Papers 206, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2011.
  2. Luisanna Onnis & Patrizio Tirelli, 2010. "Challenging the popular wisdom. New estimates of the unobserved economy," Working Papers 184, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2010.

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