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Social capital as a substitute for formality: Evidence from Bolivia

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  • Annen, Kurt

Abstract

The paper studies the role of social capital in the urban informal sector in Bolivia. It shows that a formal firm has about 6.4 times the sales of an informal firm with no social capital, but informal firms use their social capital to compensate for the lack of formal productivity benefits. By being formal, firms obtain permanent visibility because they can operate a shop or a visible production location and they can produce in locations with better public infrastructure. Informal firms, in contrast, sell in one place – typically in street markets in front of formal shops – and produce in another — typically in the outskirts. Social capital increases accessibility of informal firms and provides them with security benefits at their production location.

Suggested Citation

  • Annen, Kurt, 2013. "Social capital as a substitute for formality: Evidence from Bolivia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 82-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:31:y:2013:i:c:p:82-92
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.04.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kurt Annen, 2001. "Inclusive and Exclusive Social Capital in the Small-Firm Sector in Developing Countries," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(2), pages 319-319, June.
    2. Axel Dreher & Christos Kotsogiannis & Steve McCorriston, 2009. "How do institutions affect corruption and the shadow economy?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(6), pages 773-796, December.
    3. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The Origins of State Capacity: Property Rights, Taxation, and Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1218-1244, September.
    4. Marcel Fafchamps, 2006. "Development and social capital," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1180-1198.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Sekkat, Khalid, 2015. "The formal and informal institutional framework of capital accumulation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 754-771.
    2. Bjornskov, Christian & Bogetic, Zeljko & Hillman, Arye & Popovic, Milenko, 2014. "Trust and Identity in a Small, Post-Socialist, Post-Crisis Society," EconStor Preprints 95968, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    3. Asali, Muhammad, 2015. "Compulsory Military Service and Future Earnings: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 8892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Dinh, Hinh T., 2015. "Social capital, product imitation and growth with learning externalities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 41-54.
    5. repec:wsi:jdexxx:v:22:y:2017:i:02:n:s108494671750008x is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Formal and informal institutions; Informal sector; Small firms; Bolivia;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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