IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Firms Exit the Formal Economy after a Minimum Wage Hike ?


  • Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves
  • Acar,Aysenur
  • Makovec,Mattia


This paper explores the effects of a large minimum wage hike on firm exits from the formal economy, and its associated impacts on employment and informality. It uses an exceptionally rich linked employer-employee dataset on the universe of formal firms and workers in a developing economy. Data on the full wage distribution in firms allows to precisely measure minimum wage exposure, and to estimate the causal effect of the hike in a difference-in-difference setting. The hike is found to significantly increase the destruction rate of formal firms. Effects are concentrated among small and low-productivity firms while exits of high-productivity firms are unaffected. The increase in firm exits is larger in industries with small profit margins, higher labor shares and stronger market competition. We also evidence negative effects on formal employment, which mainly originate from firm destruction rather than employment cuts in surviving firms. Corroborative evidence indicates that workers from exiting firms mostly transition into informal employment, instead of being jobless after the hike.

Suggested Citation

  • Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves & Acar,Aysenur & Makovec,Mattia, 2019. "Do Firms Exit the Formal Economy after a Minimum Wage Hike ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8749, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8749

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yuci Chen, 2019. "What Do Establishments Do When Wages Increase? Evidence from Minimum Wages in the United States," Working Papers 19-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8749. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.