Does Formality Improve Micro-Firm Performance? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Brazilian SIMPLES Program
This paper employs regression discontinuity methods to identify the effect of formality on Brazilian micro-firm performance. The SIMPLES program introduced in November 1996 consolidated multiple taxes and social security contributions into a single payment and reduced taxes for eligible small firms. This provides a quasi-natural experiment that allows us to eliminate many of the endogeneity issues surrounding the impact of formality, measured across several dimensions, on firm performance. We find that SIMPLES had a significant effect on the proportion of firms that have a license to operate, are registered as a legal entity, pay taxes and make social security contributions. Moreover, newly created firms that opt for operating formally achieve higher levels of revenue and profits, employ more workers and are more capital intensive (only for those firms that have employees). The channel through which this occurs is not access to credit or contracts with larger firms. Rather, it appears that the lower cost of contracting labor leads to adopting production techniques that involve greater permanence and a larger paid labor force.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David Kaplan & Eduardo Piedra & Enrique Seira, 2007.
"Are Burdensome Registration Procedures an Important Barrier on Firm Creation? Evidence from Mexico,"
0701, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
- Kaplan, David S. & Piedra, Eduardo & Seira, Enrique, 2007. "Entry regulation and business start-ups : evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4322, The World Bank.
- David Kaplan & Eduardo Piedra & Enrique Seira, 2006. "Are Burdensome Registration Procedures an Important Barrier on Firm Creation? Evidence from Mexico," Discussion Papers 06-013, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994.
"Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects,"
Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of labor regulation, informal labor, and firm performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3756, The World Bank.
- Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007.
"The Informal Sector,"
PIER Working Paper Archive
07-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Aureo de Paula & Jose A Sheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001663, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Áureo de Paula & José A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector," NBER Working Papers 13486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Jose Scheinkman & Aureo de Paula, 2007. "The Informal Sector," 2007 Meeting Papers 117, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Pablo Fajnzylber & William F. Maloney & Gabriel V. Montes-Rojas, 2009. "Releasing Constraints to Growth or Pushing on a String? Policies and Performance of Mexican Micro-Firms," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(7), pages 1027-1047, August.
- James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Miriam Bruhn, 2011.
"License to Sell: The Effect of Business Registration Reform on Entrepreneurial Activity in Mexico,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 382-386, February.
- Bruhn, Miriam, 2008. "License to sell : the effect of business registration reform on entrepreneurial activity in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4538, The World Bank.
- James Heckman & Carmen Pages, 2003.
"Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean,"
NBER Working Papers
10129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, September.
- David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Returns to Capital and Access to Finance in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 457-482, November.
- Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
- Levenson, Alec R. & Maloney, William F., 1998. "The informal sector, firm dynamics, and institutional participation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1988, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4531. 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: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.