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Good and Bad Equilibria with the Informal Sector

  • Bouwe R. Dijkstra
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    We examine whether an economy can have a bad (small or no formal sector, high taxes) as well as a good (small or no informal sector, low taxes) equilibrium. The government maximizes a combination of instantaneous welfare and the rate of decline of the informal sector. When the instantaneous welfare component only contains formal-sector welfare, multiple equilibria can occur if the elasticity of average to marginal cost for the public good is less than one. More regard for the informal sector leads to a worse equilibrium and to a higher prevalence of multiple equilibria.

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    Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

    Volume (Year): 167 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 668-685

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    Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201112)167:4_668:gabewt_2.0.tx_2-b
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    1. Fugazza, Marco & Jacques, Jean-Francois, 2004. "Labor market institutions, taxation and the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 395-418, January.
    2. Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti & Nicoletta Batini & Young-Bae Kim, 2010. "Informal Labour and Credit Markets: A Survey," IMF Working Papers 10/42, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Search and Taxation in a Model of Underground Economic Activities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 647-659, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Fisher, Eric ON. & Kakkar, Vikas, 2004. "On the evolution of comparative advantage in matching models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 169-193, October.
    6. Pinaki Bose & Luciana Echazu, 2007. "Corruption with Heterogeneous Enforcement Agents in the Shadow Economy," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(2), pages 285-296, June.
    7. Goldbaum, David, 2006. "Self-organization and the persistence of noise in financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1837-1855.
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