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Modeling the informal economy in Mexico:a structural equation approach

Listed author(s):
  • José Brambila Macias
  • Guido Cazzavillan

    ()

    (Trade and Markets Division-FAO of the UN, Italy
    Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy)

This paper uses annual data for the period 1970-2006 in order to estimate and investigate the evolution of the Mexican informal economy. In order to do so, we model the informal economy as a latent variable and try to explain it through relationships between possible cause and indicator variables using structural equation modeling (SEM). The model uses tax burden, salary levels, inflation, unemployment and excessive regulation as potential incentives or deterrents for the informal economy. Our results indicate that the Mexican informal sector at the beginning of the 1970's accounted for 40 percent of GDP, and then it slightly decreased to stabilize around 30 percent of GDP from the late 1980's onwards. The results also confirm the importance of salaries and excessive regulation as causes of the informal economy in Mexico and the existence of a positive relationship between informality and GDP.

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File URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_developing_areas/v044/44.1.macias.html
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Article provided by Tennessee State University, College of Business in its journal Journal of Developing Areas.

Volume (Year): 44 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (September-December)
Pages: 345-365

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Handle: RePEc:jda:journl:vol.44:year:2011:issue1:pp:345-365
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  1. Roberto Dell’Anno & Miguel Gómez-Antonio & Angel Alañon-Pardo, 2007. "The shadow economy in three Mediterranean countries: France, Spain and Greece. A MIMIC approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 197-197, July.
  2. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
  3. Angel Alanon & M. Gomez-Antonio, 2005. "Estimating the size of the shadow economy in Spain: a structural model with latent variables," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(9), pages 1011-1025.
  4. Schneider Friedrich & Hametner Bettina, 2014. "The Shadow Economy in Colombia: Size and Effects on Economic Growth," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(2), pages 1-33, April.
  5. Macias, Jose Brambila & Cazzavillan, Guido, 2009. "The dynamics of parallel economies. Measuring the informal sector in Mexico," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 189-199, September.
  6. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Goldberger, Arthur S, 1972. "Structural Equation Methods in the Social Sciences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 979-1001, November.
  8. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
  9. Christopher Bajada & Friedrich Schneider, 2005. "The Shadow Economies Of The Asia-Pacific," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 379-401, October.
  10. Jos� Brambila Macias & Guido Cazzavillan, 2008. "The Dynamics of Parallel Economies. Measuring the Informal Sector in M�xico," Working Papers 2008_42, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  11. Guillermo Javier Vuletin, 2008. "Measuring the Informal Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 08/102, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Edgar L. Feige, 2004. "How Big IS the Irregular Economy?," Macroeconomics 0404005, EconWPA.
  13. Roberto Dell’Anno & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2006. "Estimating the underground economy by using MIMIC models: A response to T. Breusch´s critique," Economics working papers 2006-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  14. 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.
  15. Trevor Breusch, 2005. "Estimating the Underground Economy using MIMIC Models," Econometrics 0507003, EconWPA, revised 15 Dec 2005.
  16. Dell'Anno, Roberto, "undated". "Estimating the Shadow Economy in Italy: a Structural Equation Approach," Economics Working Papers 2003-7, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  17. Roberto Dell'Anno & Offiong Helen Solomon, 2008. "Shadow economy and unemployment rate in USA: is there a structural relationship? An empirical analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(19), pages 2537-2555.
  18. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kaliberda, Aleksander, 1996. "Integrating the unofficial economy into the dynamics of post-socialist economies : a framework of analysis and evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1691, The World Bank.
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