Informal firms in developing countries: entrepreneurial stepping stone or consolation prize?
We analyse potential dynamic benefits for a firm from having the option of adopting informal status. Informality may be a stepping stone, without which formality might never be achieved. This result obtains for a broad range of realistic parameter values, suggesting a potential dynamic case for government support of informal firms. Informality may alternatively play a converse role as a consolation prize, a firm only entering an industry (formally) because it recognizes that if profitability is disappointing, it can switch to informality. However, this result obtains for a range of parameter values so narrow to be of no practical significance.
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