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Informality and rent-seeking bureaucracies in a model of long-run growth

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  • Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte

Abstract

This paper explores the links among growth, the informal economy, and rent-seeking bureaucracies. The presence of congestion associated with the enforcement of property right implies that informality can be useful. Whether bureaucratic rent-seeking is detrimental to growth then depends on how good a substitute informality is to production in the formal sector. In order to create profits which can be appropriated, rent-seeking bureaucrats limit entry into the formal economy. As a result, firms operate in the informal sector even when the cost of informality is high, in which case lower growth emerges. However, when the cost of informality is low, a large number of firms choose to operate informally irrespective of entry conditions. In the latter case, growth is unaffected by a rent-seeking bureaucracy as entry restrictions in the formal economy do not bind.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte, 1999. "Informality and rent-seeking bureaucracies in a model of long-run growth," Working Paper 99-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:99-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Easterly, William & King, Robert G & Levine, Ross & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994. "Policy, Technology Adoption and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    4. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    5. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
    6. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
    7. Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
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    Keywords

    Rent;

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