IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ctw/wpaper/201602.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Aalia Cassim
  • Kezia Lilenstein
  • Morne Oosthuizen
  • Francois Steenkamp

    (University of Cape Town
    Deputy Director)

Abstract

This research seeks to explore the relationship between informality and inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on South Africa. South Africans typically hold one of two opposing views on the informal sector. The first is that informality should be encouraged as an under-utilised source of new employment; the second is that it should be discouraged as an inferior source of employment. The central research question is therefore: “Do informal labour markets promote or constrain inclusive growth?” In order to examine the hypotheses, we use three different methodologies. Firstly, we undertake a regional evidence synthesis examining literature and case studies from the sub-Saharan Africa region. Secondly, we expand on the South African case study and examine the nature of transitions within the labour market. Thirdly, we examine to what extent income shocks may impact the likelihood of engagement within the informal sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Aalia Cassim & Kezia Lilenstein & Morne Oosthuizen & Francois Steenkamp, 2016. "Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201602, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:201602
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/36/Publications/Working_Papers/DPRU%20WP201602.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2016
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Josh Budlender & Murray Leibbrandt & Ingrid Woolard, 2015. "South African poverty lines: a review and two new money-metric thresholds," SALDRU Working Papers 151, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Timothy Hinks, 2008. "Poverty, networks and location: the determinants of job-search in South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 117-131.
    3. Fields, Gary S., 2012. "Working Hard, Working Poor: A Global Journey," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199794645, November.
    4. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2014. "Informality and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 109-126, Summer.
    5. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of Regulation, Informal Labor and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1759, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Verick, Sher., 2010. "Unravelling the impact of the global financial crisis on the South African labour market," ILO Working Papers 994541013402676, International Labour Organization.
    7. Böhme, Marcus & Thiele, Rainer, 2012. "Is the Informal Sector Constrained from the Demand Side? Evidence for Six West African Capitals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1369-1381.
    8. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    9. Stephan Klasen & Ingrid Woolard, 2009. "Surviving Unemployment Without State Support: Unemployment and Household Formation in South Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(1), pages 1-51, January.
    10. Grimm, Michael & Knorringa, Peter & Lay, Jann, 2012. "Constrained Gazelles: High Potentials in West Africa’s Informal Economy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1352-1368.
    11. T. Dinh, Hinh & Mavridis, Dimitris A. & Nguyen, Hoa B., 2010. "The binding constraint on firms'growth in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5485, The World Bank.
    12. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of labor regulation, informal labor, and firm performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3756, The World Bank.
    13. Keijiro Otsuka & Takashi Yamano, 2006. "Introduction to the special issue on the role of nonfarm income in poverty reduction: evidence from Asia and East Africa," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(s3), pages 393-397, November.
    14. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    15. Emmanuel Skoufias & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2008. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Adult Work Incentives, and Poverty," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 935-960.
    16. Vimal Ranchhod & Taryn Dinkelman, 2007. "Labour Market Transitions in South Africa: What can we learn from matched Labour Force Survey data?," SALDRU Working Papers 14, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    17. Rafael La Porta & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "The Unofficial Economy and Economic Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 275-363.
    18. AA Ligthelm, 2005. "Informal retailing through home-based micro-enterprises: The role of spaza shops," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 199-214.
    19. James Heintz & Dorrit Posel, 2008. "Revisiting Informal Employment And Segmentation In The South African Labour Market," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(1), pages 26-44, March.
    20. repec:hrv:faseco:33078210 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Louise Fox & Ana Maria Oviedo, 2013. "Institutions and Job Growth in African Manufacturing: Does Employment Protection Regulation Matter?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 616-650, August.
    22. Simon, David & Birch, Sarah L., 1992. "Formalizing the informal sector in a changing South Africa: Small-scale manufacturing on the Witwatersrand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 1029-1045, July.
    23. Bargain, Olivier & Magejo, Prudence, 2010. "Is Informality Bad? Evidence from Brazil, Mexico and South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 4711, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    24. repec:ilo:ilowps:454101 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Ghani, Ejaz (ed.), 2011. "Reshaping Tomorrow: Is South Asia Ready for the Big Leap?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198075028, November.
    26. Fox, Louise & Sohnesen , Thomas Pave, 2012. "Household enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa : why they matter for growth, jobs, and livelihoods," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6184, The World Bank.
    27. Simon Franklin, 2015. "Location, search costs and youth unemployment: A randomized trial of transport subsidies in Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    28. Hinh T. Dinh & George R.G. Clarke, 2012. "Performance of Manufacturing Firms in Africa : An Empirical Analysis," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 11959, December.
    29. Kanbur, Ravi, 2011. "Avoiding Informality Traps," Working Papers 126536, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    30. Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "Conceptualising Informality: Regulation and Enforcement," IZA Discussion Papers 4186, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    31. Tetsushi Sonobe & John Akoten & Keijiro Otsuka, 2011. "The growth process of informal enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa: a case study of a metalworking cluster in Nairobi," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 323-335, April.
    32. Amin, Mohammad & Islam, Asif, 2015. "Are Large Informal Firms More Productive than the Small Informal Firms? Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 374-385.
    33. Graham Tipple, 2005. "The Place of Home-based Enterprises in the Informal Sector: Evidence from Cochabamba, New Delhi, Surabaya and Pretoria," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 42(4), pages 611-632, April.
    34. Loayza, Norman V. & Rigolini, Jamele, 2006. "Informality trends and cycles," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4078, The World Bank.
    35. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
    36. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    37. Sinha, Anushree & Kanbur, Ravi, 2012. "Informality: Concepts, Facts And Models," Working Papers 128801, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    38. Lisa Daniels, 2003. "Factors that influence the expansion of the microenterprise sector: results from three national surveys in Zimbabwe," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 675-692.
    39. Leibbrandt, M.V. & Woolard, C.D. & Woolard, I.D., 1996. "The Contribution of Income Components to Income Inequality in South Africa. A Decomposable Gini Analysis," Papers 125a, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    40. Posel, Dorrit & Fairburn, James A. & Lund, Frances, 2006. "Labour migration and households: A reconsideration of the effects of the social pension on labour supply in South Africa," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 836-853, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jacobus Johannes de Jongh, 2019. "Understanding the Drivers of Long-Term Youth Unemployment: Micro-Level Evidence from South Africa," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 9912297, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    2. Amponsah, Mary & Agbola, Frank W. & Mahmood, Amir, 2021. "The impact of informality on inclusive growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does financial inclusion matter?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1259-1286.
    3. Haroon Bhorat & Kezia Lilenstein & Morné Oosthuizen & Amy Thornton, 2020. "Wage polarization in a high-inequality emerging economy: The case of South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-55, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Haroon Bhorat & François Steenkamp & Christopher Rooney & Nomsa Kachingwe & Adrienne Lees, 2016. "Understanding and characterizing the services sector in South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 157, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Haroon Bhorat & Kezia Lilenstein & Morne Oosthuizen & Amy Thornton, 2016. "Vulnerability In Employment: Evidence from South Africa," Working Papers 201604, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    2. Saibal Ghosh, 2022. "Firm Performance and Productivity: Is Labour an Obstacle?," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 65(3), pages 709-728, September.
    3. Nesma Mohamed Ali, 2017. "Towards a better integration of the informal sector: three empirical essays on the interaction between formal and informal firms in Egypt and beyond," Erudite Ph.D Dissertations, Erudite, number ph17-05 edited by Manon Domingues Dos Santos & Boris Najman, March.
    4. Nancy Benjamin & Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, 2014. "Informality, Growth, and Development in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2014-052, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Albertini, Julien & Terriau, Anthony, 2019. "Informality over the life-cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 182-202.
    6. Hartmut Lehmann, 2015. "Informal Employment in Transition Countries: Empirical Evidence and Research Challenges," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 57(1), pages 1-30, March.
    7. Islam,Asif Mohammed & Amin,Mohammad, 2022. "The Gender Labor Productivity Gap across Informal Firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10011, The World Bank.
    8. Vial, Virginie & Hanoteau, Julien, 2015. "Returns to Micro-Entrepreneurship in an Emerging Economy: A Quantile Study of Entrepreneurial Indonesian Households’ Welfare," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 142-157.
    9. Erten, Bilge & Leight, Jessica & Tregenna, Fiona, 2019. "Trade liberalization and local labor market adjustment in South Africa," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 448-467.
    10. Reeg, Caroline, 2015. "Micro and small enterprises as drivers for job creation and decent work," IDOS Discussion Papers 10/2015, German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS).
    11. Michael Weber, 2018. "Burkina Faso Jobs Diagnostic," World Bank Publications - Reports 31033, The World Bank Group.
    12. Bergolo, M. & Cruces, G., 2021. "The anatomy of behavioral responses to social assistance when informal employment is high," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    13. Lehmann, Hartmut & Pignatti, Norberto, 2018. "Informal employment relationships and the labor market: Is there segmentation in Ukraine?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 838-857.
    14. Giovanna Vallanti & Giuseppina Gianfreda, 2021. "Informality, regulation and productivity: do small firms escape EPL through shadow employment?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 1383-1412, October.
    15. Ravi Kanbur & Gary Fields, 2005. "Minimum Wages And Poverty," Working Papers id:169, eSocialSciences.
    16. Russo Francesco Flaviano, 2018. "Informality: the Doorstep of the Legal System," Open Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 49-70, June.
    17. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2007. "Inequality and Employment in a Dual Economy: Enforcement of Labor Regulation in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 3094, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Beegle,Kathleen G. & Benjamin,Nancy Claire & Recanatini,Francesca & Santini,Massimiliano, 2014. "Informal economy and the World Bank," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6888, The World Bank.
    19. Gatti, Roberta & Honorati, Maddalena, 2007. "Informality among Formal Firms: Firm-level, Cross-country Evidence on Tax Compliance and Access to Credit," CEPR Discussion Papers 6597, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Prodyumna Goutam & Italo A. Gutierrez & Krishna B. Kumar & Shanthi Nataraj, 2017. "Does Informal Employment Respond to Growth Opportunities? Trade-Based Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Papers 1198, RAND Corporation.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    informality; inclusive growth; employment; labour markets; transitions; South Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:201602. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dpuctza.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Waseema Petersen (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dpuctza.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.