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Informal Sector and Corruption: An Empirical Investigation for India


  • Dutta, Nabamita

    () (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse)

  • Kar, Saibal

    () (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta)

  • Roy, Sanjukta

    () (World Bank)


India is a country characterized by a huge informal sector. At the same time, it is a country where the extent of corruption in every sector is remarkably high. Stifling bureaucratic interference and corruption at every stage of economic activities is one of the main reasons behind high participation in informal and unregulated sectors. For economies characterized by high inequality and poverty, a useful tool for the government to pacify social unrest, is to choose a lower level of governance allowing substantial corruption in the system. Based on a study of 20 Indian states, we empirically show that higher corruption increases level of employment in the informal sector. Further, our analysis also shows that for higher levels of lagged state domestic product, the positive impact of corruption on the size of the informal sector is nullified.

Suggested Citation

  • Dutta, Nabamita & Kar, Saibal & Roy, Sanjukta, 2011. "Informal Sector and Corruption: An Empirical Investigation for India," IZA Discussion Papers 5579, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5579

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
    2. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 1997. "Corruption and the Rate of Temptation; Do Low Wages in the Civil Service Cause Corruption?," IMF Working Papers 97/73, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Marjit, Sugata & Mukherjee, Vivekananda & Mukherjee, Arijit, 2000. "Harassment, corruption and tax policy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 75-94, March.
    5. Saha, Bibhas, 2001. "Red tape, incentive bribe and the provision of subsidy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 113-133, June.
    6. Marjit, Sugata & Rajeev, Meenakshi & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2000. "Incomplete information as a deterrent to crime," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 763-773, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kar, Saibal & Saha, Shrabani, 2012. "Corruption, Shadow Economy and Income Inequality: Evidence from Asia," IZA Discussion Papers 7106, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Professor Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, 2012. "Bribery Challenges And Business Ethics In Afghanistan," Far East Journal of Psychology and Business, Far East Research Centre, vol. 6(4), pages 58-76, February.
    3. Akie Iriyama & Rajiv Kishore & Debabrata Talukdar, 2016. "Playing dirty or building capability? Corruption and HR training as competitive actions to threats from informal and foreign firm rivals," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(10), pages 2152-2173, October.
    4. Professor Hafiz Abdur Rashid & Hafsa Noreen & Monazza Karamat, 2012. "Growth And Prospects Of Islamic Banking In Pakistan," Far East Journal of Psychology and Business, Far East Research Centre, vol. 7(4), pages 52-65, May.
    5. Megha Mukim, 2015. "Coagglomeration of formal and informal industry: evidence from India," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 329-351.
    6. Mukhiddin Jumaev & Prof. Dr. Dileep Kumar. M. & Jalal R. M. Hanaysha, 2012. "Impact Of Relationship Marketing On Customer Loyalty In The Banking Sector," Far East Journal of Psychology and Business, Far East Research Centre, vol. 6(4), pages 36-55, March.

    More about this item


    state domestic product; corruption; informal sector; governance; India;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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