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The Efficiency of the Informal Sector on the Search and Matching Framework

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  • Luz Adriana Flórez

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Abstract

This paper analyzes efficiency in an economy with an informal sector that consists of unregulated self-employment, and where there are no costs of being informal, (Albrecht et al. (2009)). First, assuming workers in the formal sector are ex-ante heterogeneous, I show that this type of economy is inefficient. Second, I identify the optimal policies the government can implement, where the informal sector is unobserved (or search effort is unobserved). Allowing the government to use different policies such as social security payment, severance payment, formal tax, and job creation subsidy, I show that the government cannot affect worker’s behavior by using severance and social security payments because of the risk neutrality assumption (Lazear (1990)). However, it can achieve an efficient allocation through a tax-credit policy. This result is interesting since it can guide the way in which social security programs can be implemented in developing countries, where in general social protection programs are assumed to subsidize informal activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Luz Adriana Flórez, 2014. "The Efficiency of the Informal Sector on the Search and Matching Framework," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 011954, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:011954
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Efficiency; Informal Sector; Hidden Search Effort.;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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