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Formality, Informality, and Social Welfare

  • John Bennett

    ()

An industry is modeled in which entrepreneurs, who are heterogeneous in ability, may produce formally or informally. It is shown how the formalinformal mix depends on the distribution of ability, product demand and various parameter values. The industry equilibrium is compared to one in which informality is prohibited. With relatively high product demand, the effect of entrepreneurs being free to choose informality is that consumer surplus and total employment are reduced, but profit is redistributed towards more able entrepreneurs. With relatively low product demand the opposite effects obtain. We also show that informality may be a built-in stabilizer or destabilizer.

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File URL: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/342704/CEDI_08-06.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 08-06.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:08-06
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  12. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andre Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1904, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  17. Ihrig, Jane & Moe, Karine S., 2004. "Lurking in the shadows: the informal sector and government policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 541-557, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
  20. Ahsan, Ahmad & Pages, Carmen, 2007. "Are all labor regulations equal ? Assessing the effects of job security, labor dispute, and contract labor laws in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4259, The World Bank.
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