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The Informal Sector in Developing Countries: Output, Assets and Employment

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  • Sangeeta Pratap
  • Erwan Quintin

Abstract

This study documents four key facts about informal economic activities: (1) the size of the informal sector varies greatly across nations; (2) this size is strongly correlated with economic development, the tax burden, and the rule of law; (3) the informal sector emphasizes small-scale, self-financed and unskilled labour intensive economic activities; and (4), while financial markets are generally segmented along formal/informal lines in developing nations there is no compelling evidence that this is true for labour markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Sangeeta Pratap & Erwan Quintin, 2006. "The Informal Sector in Developing Countries: Output, Assets and Employment," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-130, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2006-130
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    Cited by:

    1. D'Erasmo, Pablo N. & Moscoso Boedo, Hernan J., 2012. "Financial structure, informality and development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 286-302.
    2. David Mark Dror, 2018. "Estimating Willingness-to-Pay for Health Insurance Among Rural Poor in India by Reference to Engel’s Law," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Financing Micro Health Insurance Theory, Methods and Evidence, chapter 7, pages 139-149, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. D׳Erasmo, Pablo N. & Moscoso Boedo, Hernan J. & Şenkal, Aslı, 2014. "Misallocation, informality, and human capital: Understanding the role of institutions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 122-142.
    4. Erwan Quintin, 2008. "Contract enforcement and the size of the informal economy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 37(3), pages 395-416, December.
    5. Hamann-Salcedo, Franz Alonso & Mejía, Luis Fernando, 2012. "Formalizando la informalidad empresarial en Colombia," Chapters, in: Arango-Thomas, Luis Eduardo & Hamann-Salcedo, Franz Alonso (ed.), El mercado de trabajo en Colombia : hechos, tendencias e instituciones, chapter 10, pages 399-427, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Finkelstein-Shapiro, Alan & Sarzosa, Miguel, 2013. "Unemployement Protection for Informal Workers in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4542, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Chiara Binelli, 2016. "Wage inequality and informality: evidence from Mexico," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    8. Posada, Carlos Esteban & Mejía, Daniel, 2012. "Informalidad : teoría e implicaciones de política," Chapters, in: Arango-Thomas, Luis Eduardo & Hamann-Salcedo, Franz Alonso (ed.), El mercado de trabajo en Colombia : hechos, tendencias e instituciones, chapter 9, pages 363-397, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    9. Abdel-Latif, Hany & Ouattara, Bazoumana & Murphy, Phil, 2017. "Catching the mirage: The shadow impact of financial crises," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 61-70.
    10. Catalina Granda & Franz Hamann, 2015. "Informality, Saving and Wealth Inequality," Borradores de Economia 873, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    11. Tareq Sadeq, 2014. "Formal-Informal Gap in Return to Schooling and Penalty to Education-Occupation Mismatch a Comparative Study for Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine," Working Papers 894, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2014.
    12. Joshua Aizenman & Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2015. "Precautionary Strategies and Household Saving," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 911-939, November.
    13. Nabi, Mahmoud Sami & Suliman, Mohamed Osman, 2008. "The Institutional Environment and the Banking - Growth Nexus: Theory and Investigation for MENA," MPRA Paper 11854, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Colombo, Emilio & Onnis, Luisanna & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2016. "Shadow economies at times of banking crises: Empirics and theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 180-190.
    15. Jesús Botero G. & Christian Vargas & Álvaro Hurtado Rendón & Humberto Franco, 2014. "Informality and formality: Fiscal policy in DSGE model," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 010925, Universidad EAFIT.
    16. Cristina Fernández & Leonardo Villar, 2016. "A Taxonomy of Colombia’s Informal Labor Market," Coyuntura Económica, Fedesarrollo, vol. 46(1), pages 15-50, June.
    17. Eckhard Siggel, 2010. "The Indian informal sector: The impact of globalization and reform," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 149(1), pages 93-105, March.
    18. D'Erasmo, Pablo N., 2013. "Access to Credit and the Size of the Formal Sector in Brazil," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4545, Inter-American Development Bank.
    19. Colombo, Emilio & Menna, Lorenzo & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2019. "Informality and the labor market effects of financial crises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 1-22.
    20. Mitra, Shalini, 2014. "Tax Evasion, Tax Policies and the Role Played by Financial Markets," MPRA Paper 58977, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Belal Fallah, 2014. "The Pros and Cons of Formalizing Informal MSES in the Palestinian Economy," Working Papers 893, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2014.
    22. M. Sami NABI & M. Osman SULIMAN, 2009. "Institutions, Banking Development, And Economic Growth," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(4), pages 436-457, December.

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