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Informal work networks


  • Marcelo Arbex
  • Dennis O'Dea


We present a model of time allocation between formal and informal labour supply, where workers learn of informal job opportunities from their peers. In addition to formal income taxation and enforcement, individuals' labour supply decisions depend on the number of their peers with informal jobs and the strength of social ties. Workers allocate more time to informal activities when tax enforcement is lax and job information transmission is good. More connected social networks (e.g., wheel, complete) feature lower average income but higher average utility than poorly connected social networks (e.g., star, empty). Average income may be non-monotonic in tax enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelo Arbex & Dennis O'Dea, 2011. "Informal work networks," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 247-272, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:44:y:2011:i:1:p:247-272

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search


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