Inequality and Informality

36 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2006

See all articles by Alberto Chong

Alberto Chong

University of Ottawa

Mark Gradstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

This paper presents theory and evidence on the determinants of the size of the informal sector. We propose a simple theoretical model in which it is positively related to income inequality, more so under weak institutions, and is negatively related to the economy's wealth. These predictions are then empirically validated using different proxies of the size of the informal sector, income inequality, and institutional quality. The results are shown to be robust with respect to a variety of econometric specifications. We also find that government interventions through taxes and regulations lose much of their robustness in the presence of the above factors.

Keywords: Informal sector, shadow economy, inequality, institutional quality

JEL Classification: D70, O15, O17

Suggested Citation

Chong, Alberto and Gradstein, Mark, Inequality and Informality (March 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5545, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=910215

Alberto Chong

University of Ottawa ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada

Mark Gradstein (Contact Author)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )

Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel
+97 2 8647 2288 (Phone)
+97 2 8647 2941 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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