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To be or not to be informal?: A Structural Simulation

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  • Vargas, Jose P Mauricio

Abstract

The paper presents estimations of the informal economy size in Bolivia from an application of a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model. The parameter estimation is performed using maximum likelihood method to obtain, as an intermediate result, a latent variable estimation of the informal economy size. This procedure is new, as the estimate of the size of the informal economy using a dynamic structural model represents an alternative study area to latent variable models which assume relationships without a strong support in theory (MIMIC models). The results suggest that the size of the informal economy represents 60% of Bolivian GDP in 2010 and that the trend has been decreasing in the last decade. In addition, we simulated four alternative policies to reduce the size of the underground economy. Some of them allow to identify surprising response mechanisms which allows to analyze the flow of workers from the informal sector into the formal sector and vice versa. The research, besides quantifying the informal economy size, tries to provide a tool and methodology for evaluating alternative policy scenarios related to fiscal policy and labor mobility in a framework of an economy with a large informal sector and evasion.

Suggested Citation

  • Vargas, Jose P Mauricio, 2012. "To be or not to be informal?: A Structural Simulation," MPRA Paper 41290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41290
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/41290/1/MPRA_paper_41290.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. To be or not to be informal?: A Structural Simulation
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2012-09-24 07:04:57

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informal Economy; Kalman filter; Structural Model; Underground Economy;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy

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