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Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean

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  • Loayza, Norman V.
  • Serven, Luis
  • Sugawara, Naotaka

Abstract

This paper studies the causes and consequences of informality and applies the analysis to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It starts with a discussion on the definition and measures of informality, as well as on the reasons why widespread informality should be of great concern. The paper analyzes informality's main determinants, arguing that informality is not single-caused but results from the combination of poor public services, a burdensome regulatory regime, and weak monitoring and enforcement capacity by the state. This combination is especially explosive when the country suffers from low educational achievement and features demographic pressures and primary production structures. Using cross-country regression analysis, the paper evaluates the empirical relevance of each determinant of informality. It then applies the estimated relationships to most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to assess the country-specific relevance of each proposed mechanism.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4888.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4888

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Related research

Keywords: Labor Markets; Labor Policies; Population Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Debt Markets;

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References

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  1. Klarita G�rxhani, 2004. "The Informal Sector in Developed and Less Developed Countries: A Literature Survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(3_4), pages 267-300, 09.
  2. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
  6. Loayza, Norman V. & Raddatz, Claudio, 2006. "The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4077, The World Bank.
  7. 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.
  8. Gilbert,Christopher L. & Vines,David (ed.), 2006. "The World Bank," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521029018.
  9. Schneider, Friedrich, 2004. "The Size of the Shadow Economies of 145 Countries all over the World: First Results over the Period 1999 to 2003," IZA Discussion Papers 1431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Loayza, Norman V. & Rigolini, Jamele, 2006. "Informality trends and cycles," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4078, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mario Tello, 2011. "Indicadores Del Sector Mype Informal En El Perú: Valor Agregado, Potencial Exportador, Capacidad De Formalizarse Y Requerimientos De Normas Técnicas Peruanas De Sus Productos," Documentos de Trabajo 2011-310, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
  2. World Bank, 2009. "Mozambique - Investment Climate Assessment - 2009 : Sustaining and Broadening Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3158, The World Bank.
  3. Goñi, Edwin & Humberto López, J. & Servén, Luis, 2011. "Fiscal Redistribution and Income Inequality in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1558-1569, September.

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