Income Distribution and the Size of the Informal Sector
This paper studies the role of income distribution as a determinant of the size of the informal sector in an economy by relying on a channel whereby inequality affects the behaviour of aggregate demand and thus influences the incentives a firm has to become informal. It is further postulated that income distribution affects the response of the informal sector to different fiscal policies, either demand or supply-orientated. The main findings are that high inequality leads to a large informal sector, and that redistribution towards the middle class decreases the size of the informal sector and increases the capacity of fiscal instruments to reduce informality. Empirical evidence for Mexican cities is provided.
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