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Inequality and Informality

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  • Chong, Alberto
  • Gradstein, Mark

Abstract

This paper presents theory and evidence on the determinants of the size of the informal sector. We propose a simple theoretical model in which it is positively related to income inequality, more so under weak institutions, and is negatively related to the economy's wealth. These predictions are then empirically validated using different proxies of the size of the informal sector, income inequality, and institutional quality. The results are shown to be robust with respect to a variety of econometric specifications. We also find that government interventions through taxes and regulations lose much of their robustness in the presence of the above factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Chong, Alberto & Gradstein, Mark, 2006. "Inequality and Informality," CEPR Discussion Papers 5545, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5545
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; informal sector; institutional quality; shadow economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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