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Informality among formal firms : firm-level, cross-country evidence on tax compliance and access to credit

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  • Gatti, Roberta
  • Honorati, Maddalena

Abstract

The authors use firm-level, cross-county data from Investment Climate surveys in 49 developing countries to investigate an important channel through which informality can affect productivity: access to credit and external finance. Informality is measured as self-reported lack of tax compliance in a sample of registered firms that also answered questions on a large set of other characteristics. The authors find that more tax compliance is significantly associated with more access to credit both in OLS and in country fixed effects estimates. In particular, the link between credit and formality is stronger in high-formality countries. This suggests that firms'balance sheets are relatively more informative for financial institutions in environments where signal extraction is a less noisy process. The authors'results are robust to the inclusion of a wide array of correlates and to two-stage estimation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4476.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4476

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Keywords: Access to Finance; Banks&Banking Reform; Debt Markets; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. de la Torre, Augusto & Martínez Pería, María Soledad & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2010. "Bank involvement with SMEs: Beyond relationship lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2280-2293, September.
  2. Coolidge, Jacqueline & Ilic, Domagoj & Kisunko, Gregory, 2009. "Small businesses in south Africa : who outsources tax compliance work and why ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4873, The World Bank.
  3. Ana Maria Oviedo & Mark R. Thomas & Kamer Karakurum-Ozdemir, 2009. "Economic Informality : Causes, Costs, and Policies - A Literature Survey," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 5917, February.
  4. Ronald B. Davies & Lourenço S. Paz, 2010. "Tariffs Versus VAT in the Presence of Heterogeneous Firms and an Informal Sector," Working Papers 1006, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  5. Almeida, Rita K., 2010. "Openness and technological innovation in East Asia : have they increased the demand for skills ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5272, The World Bank.
  6. Junko Koeda & Era Dabla-Norris, 2008. "Informality and Bank Credit," IMF Working Papers 08/94, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Goerke, Laszlo, 2011. "The optimal structure of commodity taxation in a monopoly with tax avoidance or evasion," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 8, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  8. Germana Giombini & Désirée Teobaldelli, 2012. "The effects of tax evasion and the inefficiency of the legal system on firms’ financial constraints: are they complements or substitutes?," Working Papers 1207, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2012.
  9. Salvatore Capasso & Tullio Jappelli, 2011. "Financial Development and the Underground Economy," CSEF Working Papers 298, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  10. Zhou, Fujin & Oostendorp, Remco, 2011. "Measuring true sales and underreporting with matched firm-level survey and tax-office data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5628, The World Bank.
  11. Ceyhun Elgin & Oguz Oztunali, 2013. "Institutions, Informal Economy and Economic Development," Working Papers 2013/03, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.

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