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A structural econometric analysis of the informal sector heterogeneity

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  • Nguimkeu, Pierre

Abstract

Understanding the informal sector – that represents about 60–90% of urban employment in developing countries – has a significant importance for any strategy and policy interventions aiming to alleviate poverty and improve welfare. I formulate and estimate a model of entrepreneurial choice to address the heterogeneity in occupations and earnings observed within the informal sector. I test the implications of the model with reduced form and nonparametric techniques, and use a structural econometric approach to empirically identify occupational patterns and earnings using data from the Cameroon informal sector. The empirical validity of the structural estimates is tested and the estimated model is used in counterfactual policy simulations to show how microfinance and business training programs can strengthen the efficiency of the informal sector and substantially improve its earning potential.

Suggested Citation

  • Nguimkeu, Pierre, 2014. "A structural econometric analysis of the informal sector heterogeneity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 175-191.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:107:y:2014:i:c:p:175-191
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.12.001
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Falco, Paolo & Haywood, Luke, 2016. "Entrepreneurship versus joblessness: Explaining the rise in self-employment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 245-265.
    2. Tenzin Yindok & Alexander Karaivanov, 2016. "Involuntary Entrepreneurship - Evidence from Thai Urban Data," 2016 Meeting Papers 598, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Pierrick Baraton & Florian Léon, 2016. "Financial Constraint, Entrepreneurship and Sectoral Migrations ," CREA Discussion Paper Series 16-09, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    4. Yoonyoung Cho & David Robalino & Samantha Watson, 2016. "Supporting self-employment and small-scale entrepreneurship: potential programs to improve livelihoods for vulnerable workers," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, December.
    5. M. Arouri & A. Ben Youssef & Ceyhun Elgin, 2014. "Informal economy in Africa: Building human capital to set the Gazelles free," Working Papers 2014/04, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    6. Deng, Quheng & Ma, Xinxin, 2018. "The Dynamics of Informal Employment in Urban China," CEI Working Paper Series 2018-3, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Occupational choice; Financial constraints; Entrepreneurial skills; Maximum likelihood estimation; Informal economy; Nonparametric estimation; Specification testing;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling

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