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Misallocation, Informality and Human Capital

  • Hernan J Moscoso Boedo

    (University of Virginia)

  • Asli Senkal

    (University of Virginia)

  • Pablo D'Erasmo

    (University of Maryland)

We develop a theory of total factor productivity with heterogeneous firms, to explain differences in human capital across countries. In our model, firms operate in an economy with capital markets imperfections and costs of creating and operating in the formal sector. These distortions give rise to endogenous formal and informal sectors. Formal firms have a larger set of production opportunities but informal firms can avoid the costs of formalization. The model predicts that countries with a low degree of debt enforcement and high costs of formality are characterized by low allocative efficiency and a larger informal sector, lower TFP and lower human capital accumulation. We find that this mechanism is important in generating the skill distribution observed in developing countries.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 881.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:881
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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  1. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton & Fabio Kanczuk, 2009. "Plant-Size Distribution and Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, pages 243-272 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2009. "Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors," NBER Working Papers 14914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  4. 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.
  5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Jing Zhang, 2009. "Firm dynamics and financial development," Staff Report 392, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  8. Guillermo E. Perry & William F. Maloney & Omar S. Arias & Pablo Fajnzylber & Andrew D. Mason & Jaime Saavedra-Chanduvi, 2007. "Informality : Exit and Exclusion," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6730, February.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Francis Kramarz, 2001. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation ? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," Working Papers 2001-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  10. Hernan Moscoso Boedo & Toshihiko Mukoyama, 2012. "Evaluating the effects of entry regulations and firing costs on international income differences," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 143-170, June.
  11. 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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