IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/dyncon/v51y2015icp1-27.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Informality in developing economies: Regulation and fiscal policies

Author

Listed:
  • Charlot, Olivier
  • Malherbet, Franck
  • Terra, Cristina

Abstract

This paper proposes a unified theoretical framework where formal and informal firms coexist and face the same type of product and labor market imperfections: they have monopoly power in the goods market, they are subject to matching frictions in the labor market, and wages are determined by bargaining between large firms and their workers, through either individual or collective bargaining. Our model matches the main stylized facts on informality for developing countries and appears to be a good candidate for policy analysis. In this framework, we study the impact on informality, wages and unemployment of policies that may be used to reduce informality. We consider changes in product market regulation (PMR) and in two types of fiscal policies, labor taxes and formality enforcement. We find that lessening PMR decreases informality and unemployment simultaneously, indicating that there is not necessarily a tradeoff between informality and unemployment. The tradeoff appears when fiscal policies are used, though. Moreover, the impacts of PMR on unemployment and on wages are larger under collective than individual bargaining. With respect to wage inequality, lessening PMR reduces it, while lower taxes tend to increase the formal sector wage premium.

Suggested Citation

  • Charlot, Olivier & Malherbet, Franck & Terra, Cristina, 2015. "Informality in developing economies: Regulation and fiscal policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:51:y:2015:i:c:p:1-27
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2014.09.031
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016518891400253X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
    2. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
    3. Gong, Xiaodong & Van Soest, Arthur & Villagomez, Elizabeth, 2004. "Mobility in the Urban Labor Market: A Panel Data Analysis for Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-36, October.
    4. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2005. "Shadow Sorting," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 125-163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    6. Gustavo Gonzaga, 2003. "Labor Turnover and Labor Legislation in Brazil," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2003), pages 165-222, August.
    7. Gabriel Felbermayr & Julien Prat, 2011. "Product Market Regulation, Firm Selection, And Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 278-317, April.
    8. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, Juni.
    9. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2010. "The formal sector wage premium and firm size," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 37-47, January.
    10. Gong, Xiaodong & van Soest, Arthur, 2002. "Wage differentials and mobility in the urban labour market: a panel data analysis for Mexico," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 513-529, September.
    11. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    12. Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Job search and mobility in developing countries. Theory and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 336-355, June.
    13. Costas Meghir & Renata Narita & Jean-Marc Robin, 2015. "Wages and Informality in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1509-1546, April.
    14. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
    15. Giuseppe Bertola & Pietro Garibaldi, 2001. "Wages and the Size of Firms in Dynamic Matching Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 335-368, April.
    16. Eric Smith, 1999. "Search, Concave Production, and Optimal Firm Size," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(2), pages 456-471, April.
    17. Monique Ebell & Christian Haefke, 2009. "Product Market Deregulation and the U.S. Employment Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 479-504, July.
    18. Pierre Cahuc & Francois Marque & Etienne Wasmer, 2008. "A Theory Of Wages And Labor Demand With Intra-Firm Bargaining And Matching Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 943-972, August.
    19. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 275-363.
    20. Ebell, Monique & Haefke, Christian, 2006. "Product Market Regulation and Endogenous Union Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2222, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2009. "Measuring and Analyzing Cross-country Differences in Firm Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 15-76, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
    23. Irineu E de Carvalho Filho & Marcello M. Estevão, 2012. "Institutions, Informality, and Wage Flexibility; Evidence From Brazil," IMF Working Papers 12/84, International Monetary Fund.
    24. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2009. "Labor Markets and Productivity in Developing Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 183-204, January.
    25. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1994. "Cross-Sectional Efficiency and Labour Hoarding in a Matching Model of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 435-456.
    26. repec:hrv:faseco:33078210 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Erol Taymaz, 2009. "Informality and Productivity: Productivity Differentials between Formal and Informal Firms in Turkey," ERC Working Papers 0901, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Mar 2009.
    28. Delacroix, Alain, 2006. "A multisectorial matching model of unions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 573-596, April.
    29. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Lemieux, Thomas & Fortin, Bernard & Frechette, Pierre, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in the Underground Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 231-254, March.
    31. Dale T. Mortensen, 2009. "Wage Dispersion in the Search and Matching Model with Intra-Firm Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 15033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Fiess, Norbert M. & Fugazza, Marco & Maloney, William F., 2010. "Informal self-employment and macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 211-226, March.
    33. Cahuc, Pierre & Wasmer, Etienne, 2001. "Does Intrafirm Bargaining Matter In The Large Firm'S Matching Model?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(5), pages 742-747, November.
    34. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau & Ravi Kanbur, 2015. "Contractual Dualism, Market Power and Informality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1534-1573, December.
    35. 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.
    36. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
    37. Acemoglu, Daron & Hawkins, William B., 2014. "Search with multi-worker firms," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(3), September.
    38. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
    39. Alexander Hijzen, 2011. "The Labour Market Effects of Unemployment Compensation in Brazil," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 119, OECD Publishing.
    40. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
    41. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Albertini, Julien & Terriau, Anthony, 2019. "Informality over the life-cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 182-202.
    2. Yassin, Shaimaa & Langot, François, 2018. "Informality, public employment and employment protection in developing countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 326-348.
    3. Yuri A. Kolesnikov & Tatiana V. Epifanova & Anastasia M. Usenko & Ekaterina Parshina & Victoria N. Ostrovskaya, 2016. "The Peculiarities of State Regulation of Innovation Activities of Enterprises in the Global Economy," Contemporary Economics, University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw., vol. 10(4), December.
    4. Mitra, Shalini, 2017. "To tax or not to tax? When does it matter for informality?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 117-127.
    5. Traoré, Jean Abel & Ouedraogo, Idrissa Mohamed, 2015. "Public policies promoting the informal economy: effects on incomes, employment and growth in Burkina Faso," MPRA Paper 74760, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Amaral, Ernesto F. L. & Faustino, Samantha Haussmann Rodarte & Gonçalves, Guilherme Quaresma & Queiroz, Bernardo L, 2019. "Economic sector, demographic composition, educational attainment, and earnings in Brazil," OSF Preprints vz4sa, Center for Open Science.
    7. Ceyhun Elgin & Ferda Erturk, 2019. "Informal economies around the world: measures, determinants and consequences," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 9(2), pages 221-237, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informality; Product and labor market imperfections; Search and matching;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:51:y:2015:i:c:p:1-27. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.