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Who Benefits from Reducing the Cost of Formality? Quantile Regression Discontinuity Analysis

  • Tommaso Gabrieli

    ()

    (School of Real Estate & Planning, Henley Business School, University of Reading)

  • Antonio F. Galvao, Jr.

    (University of Iowa)

  • Antonio F. Galvao, Jr.

    (City University London)

This paper studies the effects of increasing formality via tax reduction and simplification schemes on micro-firm performance. It uses the 1997 Brazilian SIMPLES program. We develop a simple theoretical model to show that SIMPLES has an impact only on a segment of the micro-firm population, for which the effect of formality on firm performance can be identified, and that can be analyzed along the single dimensional quantiles of the conditional firm revenues. To estimate the effect of formality, we use an econometric approach that compares eligible and non-eligible firms, born before and after SIMPLES in a local interval about the introduction of SIMPLES. We use an estimator that combines both quantile regression and the regression discontinuity identification strategy. The empirical results corroborate the positive effect of formality on microfirms' performance and produce a clear characterization of who benefits from these programs.

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Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series Real Estate & Planning Working Papers with number rep-wp2010-11.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rdg:repxwp:rep-wp2010-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: PO Box 218, Whiteknights, Reading, Berks, RG6 6AA
Phone: +44 (0) 118 378 8226
Fax: +44 (0) 118 975 0236
Web page: http://www.henley.reading.ac.uk/

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  8. Sergio Firpo, 2004. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 605, Econometric Society.
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  10. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Maloney, William F. & Montes-Rojas, Gabriel V., 2011. "Does formality improve micro-firm performance? Evidence from the Brazilian SIMPLES program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 262-276, March.
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  12. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
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  16. 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.
  17. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275.
  18. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-035, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 17 Oct 2007.
  19. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
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  23. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
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