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Enforcement of Regulation, Informal Labor and Firm Performance

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  • Almeida, Rita K.

    (World Bank)

  • Carneiro, Pedro

    (University College London)

Abstract

This paper investigates how enforcement of labor regulation affects the firm's use of informal employment and its impact on firm performance. Using firm level data on informal employment and firm performance, and administrative data on enforcement of regulation at the city level, we show that in areas where law enforcement is stricter firms employ a smaller amount of informal employment. Furthermore, by reducing the firm's access to unregulated labor, stricter enforcement also decreases average wages, productivity and investment. Our results are robust to several specification changes, and to instrumenting enforcement with 1) measures of access of labor inspectors to firms and 2) measures of general law enforcement in the area where the firm is located.

Suggested Citation

  • Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of Regulation, Informal Labor and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1759, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1759
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    Cited by:

    1. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier, 2007. "Investment Climate and Employment Growth: The Impact of Access to Finance, Corruption and Regulations Across Firms," Research Department Publications 4559, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Pedro S. Martins & Luiz A. Esteves, 2012. "Wages and Profits in Manufacturing Firms: Matched-Panel Evidence from Brazil," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 13(3b), pages 815-841.
    3. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    4. Soundararajan, Vidhya, 2019. "Heterogeneous effects of imperfectly enforced minimum wages in low-wage labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 355-374.
    5. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-018, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 21 May 2008.
    6. Frost, Jon, 2008. "Returns to Qualification in Informal Employment: A Study of Urban Youth in Egypt," MPRA Paper 12599, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Martins, Pedro S. & Esteves, Luiz A., 2006. "Is There Rent Sharing in Developing Countries? Matched-Panel Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 2317, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. Mariano Bosch & Julen Esteban-Pretel, 2009. "Cyclical Informality and Unemployment," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-613, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    10. Galiani, Sebastian & Meléndez, Marcela & Ahumada, Camila Navajas, 2017. "On the effect of the costs of operating formally: New experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 143-157.
    11. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier, 2007. "Clima de negocios y creación de empleo: El efecto del acceso al crédito, la corrupción y el marco regulatorio en el crecimiento de las empresas," Research Department Publications 4560, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    12. 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.
    13. Lixin Colin Xu, 2011. "The Effects of Business Environments on Development: Surveying New Firm-level Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 310-340, August.
    14. Sangheon Lee & Deirdre McCann & Nina Torm, 2008. "The World Bank's “Employing Workers” index: Findings and critiques – A review of recent evidence," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 147(4), pages 416-432, December.
    15. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2009. "“Value Added Taxes, Chain Effects and Informality†, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-041, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 09 Nov 2009.
    16. Adriana Kugler, 2011. "Is there an Anti-labor Bias of Taxes? A Survey of the Evidence from Latin America and Around the World," Research Department Publications 4746, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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    20. Erol Taymaz, 2009. "Informality and Productivity: Productivity Differentials between Formal and Informal Firms in Turkey," ERC Working Papers 0901, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Mar 2009.
    21. Adriana D. Kugler, 2019. "Impacts of Labor Market Institutions and Demographic Factors on Labor Markets in Latin America," IMF Working Papers 2019/155, International Monetary Fund.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    flexibility; informal sector; productivity; labor market regulation; labor demand;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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