Lurking in the cities: Urbanization and the informal economy
This study investigates the empirical relationship between the level of urbanization and size of the informal economy using cross-country datasets proxying GDP and employment shares of urban informal sector. Our estimation results indicate that there is an inverted-U relationship between informality and the level of urbanization. That is, the share of the informal sector grows in the early phases of urbanization due to several pull and push factors; however, it tends to fall in the latter phases. We also show that factors like level of taxes, trade openness, and institutional quality tend to affect the size of the informal economy.
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