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Informality and firm performance in Myanmar


  • Hanna Berkel
  • Finn Tarp


Using a novel panel survey of enterprises in Myanmar, we compare the performance of manufacturing firms by three different informality definitions. The first is binary, based on whether firms pay taxes. The second captures five categories of registration with the authorities, and the third definition relates to three groupings of the informality status of a firm's workers. Depending on the informality concept used, formalization has positive, insignificant, and negative performance outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanna Berkel & Finn Tarp, 2020. "Informality and firm performance in Myanmar," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-173, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2020-173

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    9. Nancy Benjamin & Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, 2012. "The Informal Sector in Francophone Africa : Firm Size, Productivity, and Institutions [Les entreprises informelles de l'Afrique de l'ouest francophone : Taille, productivité et institutions]," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 9364, December.
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    2. Henrik Hansen & S. Kanay De & John Rand & Neda Trifković, 2023. "Wage returns to workplace training in Myanmar," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 41(2), March.
    3. Dumenu, William Kwadwo & Appiah, Louis Gyekye & Paul, Carola & Darr, Dietrich, 2023. "Should forest enterprises formalize? Insight from a multi-dimensional characterization of informal baobab enterprises," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    4. Damien GIROLLET, 2023. "Digital divides among microsized firms: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2023-03, Bordeaux School of Economics (BSE).
    5. Max Gallien & Vanessa van den Boogaard, 2023. "Formalization and its Discontents: Conceptual Fallacies and Ways Forward," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 54(3), pages 490-513, May.

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    More about this item


    Firms; Informality; Myanmar; Business; business registration; Manufacturing;
    All these keywords.

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