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Regulation, governance and informality: an empirical analysis of selected countries

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  • Roychowdhury, Punarjit
  • Dutta, Mousumi

Abstract

The Informal Economy provides employment to more than 60 per cent of the labour population in the developing world despite being a site unfettered by regulations and social norms of fairness governing pay and work conditions. In assessing the factors behind an informal agent’s decision to formalize, it is asserted that rigidity in regulatory mechanism is the primary cause that impedes the process of formalization. However whether flexible regulations can encourage formalization by making gains of formalization more accessible and certain remains a question. In this paper we argue that flexible regulations does not necessarily manifest into the incentives that are essential for formalization. Reducing rigidities in regulation has a significant pay off only in the ambit of good governance. More specifically we hypothesise that degree of intensity of regulation will hardly matter in containing informality; rather what matters is the quality of governance and capability of the institutions to put the regulations into effect. Using secondary data for 46 countries over the period between 1980 and 2008, we empirically investigate into the linkages between governance, regulation and informal employment by developing static and dynamic panel data models and establish that in curbing informality what turns out to be crucial is the interaction between quality of governance and regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Roychowdhury, Punarjit & Dutta, Mousumi, 2011. "Regulation, governance and informality: an empirical analysis of selected countries," MPRA Paper 33775, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33775
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/33775/1/MPRA_paper_33775.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Friedrich Schneider & Robert Klinglmair, 2004. "Shadow economies around the world: what do we know?," Economics working papers 2004-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 215-238, July.
    3. Marjit, Sugata & Kar, Saibal, 2011. "The Outsiders: Economic Reform and Informal Labour in a Developing Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198071495.
    4. Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "Conceptualising Informality: Regulation and Enforcement," IZA Discussion Papers 4186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Marjit, Sugata & Maiti, Dibyendu S., 2005. "Globalization, Reform and the Informal Sector," WIDER Working Paper Series 012, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Dibyendu Maiti & Sugata Marjit, 2008. "Trade liberalization, production organization and informal sector of the developing countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 453-461.
    7. Sugata Marjit & Saibal Kar & Hamid Beladi, 2007. "Trade Reform and Informal Wages," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 313-320, May.
    8. R. Hirschowitz, 1989. "The Other Path: The Invisible Revolution in the Third World," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 57(4), pages 266-272, December.
    9. S. Boragan Aruoba, 2010. "Informal Sector, Government Policy and Institutions," 2010 Meeting Papers 324, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Fikret Adaman & Ayse Mumcu, 2010. "Perceptions on Governance Effectiveness and Informality: A Self-fulfilling Equilibrium," Working Papers 2010/05, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Formalization; Governance; Informal Economy; Panel data; Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C01 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Econometrics

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