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Informality, Saving and Wealth Inequality in Colombia

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  • Granda, Catalina
  • Hamann, Franz

Abstract

The informal sector is an extensive phenomenon in developing countries. While some of its implications have drawn considerable attention in the literature, one relatively unexplored aspect has to do with the saving patterns of workers and firms and how these might influence aggregate savings and wealth inequality. This paper aims to fill that gap by examining both entrepreneurs' and workers' choices regarding whether to perform informally and regarding asset accumulation. Specifically, the paper builds an occupational choice model wherein saving is primarily motivated by precautionary considerations. The model features labor and capital market segmentation, and it is calibrated to replicate the saving rates, wealth inequality and composition of occupations across the formal and informal sectors of Colombia. Computational experiments additionally make it possible to analyze the effects of highly debated formalization policies on wealth redistribution and promotion of saving and entrepreneurship. Alternative frameworks are finally considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Granda, Catalina & Hamann, Franz, 2015. "Informality, Saving and Wealth Inequality in Colombia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6815, Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6815
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Grigoli & Alexander Herman & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2017. "Is Private Saving in Latin America and the Caribbean Different?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 1255-1280, November.
    2. Granda, Catalina & Hamann, Franz & Tamayo, Cesar E., 2019. "Credit and saving constraints in general equilibrium: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 302-319.
    3. Alfredo Schclarek & Mauricio Caggia, 2017. "Household saving and labor informality: the case of Chile," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 20(3), pages 052-080, December.
    4. Francesco Grigoli & Alexander Herman & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2015. "Saving in Latin America and the Caribbean; Performance and Policies," IMF Working Papers 2015/108, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Carlos A. Arango-Arango & Héctor M. Zárate-Solano & Nicolás F. Suárez-Ariza, 2017. "Determinantes del Acceso, Uso y Aceptación de Pagos Electrónicos en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 999, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Catalina Granda Carvajal & Franz Hamann, 2020. "On the Aggregate Implications of Removing Barriers to Formality," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 102(2), pages 203-220, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth inequality; Occupational choice models; Informality; Saving;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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