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Informalidad: teoría e implicaciones de política

  • Daniel Mejía

    ()

  • carlos Esteban Posada

    ()

En este artículo desarrollamos un modelo de equilibrio general que explica la coexistencia de producciones formal e informal en situaciones de equilibrio estable y de un grado óptimo de imposición estatal (enforcement) de las normas (el pago de un impuesto) que son acatadas por el sector formal y violadas por el informal. La existencia de relaciones no lineales entre la producción y los recursos productivos, las normas públicas de costoso acatamiento y la posibilidad de violarlas (a costa de perder los beneficios que reporta la formalidad) son condiciones de co-existencia de producciones formal e informal en situaciones de equilibrio. Uno de los resultados es éste: si la tarifa efectiva de impuestos se aparta de la óptima las producciones total y formal serán inferiores a las que podría alcanzar la sociedad. Esa pérdida de producción (pérdida de eficiencia estática) es la medida del costo social de la informalidad. Solucionar el problema elevando el grado de enforcement de las normas puede no ser adecuado en vista de que el gasto público en enforcement tiene un costo de oportunidad. Los resultados indican la existencia de un nivel óptimo de enforcement de las normas y de una pena óptima para quien las viole.

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Paper provided by Banco de la Republica de Colombia in its series Borradores de Economia with number 455.

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  1. Pratap, Sangeeta & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "The Informal Sector in Developing Countries: Output, Assets and Employment," Working Paper Series RP2006/130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Jay Pil Choi & Marcel Thum, 2005. "Corruption And The Shadow Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 817-836, 08.
  3. Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S87-104, August.
  4. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
  5. 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.
  6. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Masatlioglu Yusufcan & Rigolini Jamele, 2008. "Informality Traps," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, December.
  8. Maloney, William F., 1998. "Are labor markets in developing countries dualistic?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1941, The World Bank.
  9. Erwan Quintin, 2008. "Contract enforcement and the size of the informal economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 395-416, December.
  10. Edgar L. Feige, 2003. "Defining And Estimating Underground And Informal Economies: The New Institional Economics Approach," Development and Comp Systems 0312003, EconWPA.
  11. Loayza, Norman V. & Rigolini, Jamele, 2006. "Informality trends and cycles," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4078, The World Bank.
  12. Antunes, Antonio R. & Cavalcanti, Tiago V. de V., 2007. "Start up costs, limited enforcement, and the hidden economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 203-224, January.
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