nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2016‒10‒16
twelve papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Non-standard forms of employment in Latin America : prevalence, characteristics and impacts on wages By Maurizio, Roxana.
  2. Non-standard forms of employment in some Asian countries : a study of wages and working conditions of temporary workers By Nguyen, Huu-Chi.; Nguyen-Huu, Thanh Tam.; Le, Thi-Thuy-Linh.
  3. Structural change and non-standard forms of employment in India By Srivastava, Ravi.
  4. Non-standard forms of employment in Uganda and Ghana By Dumas, Christelle.; Houdré, Cédric.
  5. The Size of Informal Economy and Demand Elasticity Estimates Using Full Price Approach: A Case Study for Turkey By Armagan Tuna Aktuna-Gunes; François Gardes; Christophe Starzec
  6. Earnings differentials between formal and informal employment in Thailand By Dasgupta, Sukti.; Bhula-or, Ruttiya.; Fakthong, Tiraphap.
  8. Deterring Delinquency: A Field Experiment in Improving Tax Compliance Behavior By Charles Loeffler; Holger Sieg; John MacDonald; Michael Chirico; Robert Inman
  9. Taking the High Road? Compliance with Commuter Tax Allowances and the Role of Evasion Spillovers By Jörg Pätzold; Hannes Winner
  10. Power-Law Distribution in the Debt-to-Fiscal Revenue Ratio: Empirical Evidence and a Theoretical Model By Gilles Dufrénot; Anne-Charlotte Paret
  11. Étude sur la dynamique du secteur informel au Congo. By Bardin Bahouayila
  12. Formas atípicas de empleo en América Latina : incidencia, características e impactos en la determinación salarial By Maurizio, Roxana.

  1. By: Maurizio, Roxana.
    Abstract: During the 2000s and early 2010s, Latin America experienced a process of significant improvement in the labour market. The countries of the region, However, still suffer from remarkable deficits in their labour markets and in their generation and distribution of income. In addition to informality, non- standard forms of employment affect a large number of wage-earners. This paper analyses three of such kinds of employment: part-time, temporary and triangular employment. The analysis is carried out for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. We estimate its incidence among total wage-earners and in different subgroups of workers, we analyse its evolution during the last decade and we assess the extent to which these non-standard forms of employment are a source of wage gaps and precarious labour conditions.
    Keywords: precarious employment, temporary employment, part time employment, informal employment, wage differential, ILO standards, legal aspect, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, emploi précaire, emploi temporaire, emploi à temps partiel, emploi informel, disparité des salaires, normes de l'OIT, aspect juridique, Argentine, Brésil, Chili, Equateur, Pérou, empleo precario, empleo temporal, empleo a tiempo parcial, empleo informal, diferencia del salario, normas de la OIT, aspecto jurídico, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Ecuador, Perú
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Nguyen, Huu-Chi.; Nguyen-Huu, Thanh Tam.; Le, Thi-Thuy-Linh.
    Abstract: This study aims at examining the effects of temporary jobs on employment conditions in selected Asian countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Pakistan, based on their national Labour Force Survey data. In general, temporary work accounted for an important proportion of wage employment in these Asian countries, with great variation across nations.
    Keywords: precarious employment, temporary employment, informal employment, wage differential, working conditions, occupational health, Asia, emploi précaire, emploi temporaire, emploi informel, disparité des salaires, conditions de travail, santé au travail, Asie, empleo precario, empleo temporal, empleo informal, diferencia del salario, condiciones de trabajo, salud en el trabajo, Asia
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Srivastava, Ravi.
    Abstract: In the context of EU and OECD countries, formal employment contracts between the employer and employee for full time work can still be taken to be the norm, despite the growth of NSFE. In India and other developing countries, where self-employment, both in agriculture and outside it, is still the dominant form of employment, and where such employment is often characterized by indefinite hours of work and multiple modes of livelihood, the growth of NSFE and changes in employment characteristics have to be focused upon in paid work, within the context of the overall employment structural changes.
    Keywords: structural adjustment, precarious employment, casual worker, informal workers, temporary worker, part time worker, working conditions, legal aspect, India, ajustement structurel, emploi précaire, travailleur occasionnel, travailleurs informels, travailleur temporaire, travailleur à temps partiel, conditions de travail, aspect juridique, Inde, ajuste estructural, empleo precario, trabajador ocasional, trabajadores informales, trabajador temporal, trabajador a tiempo parcial, condiciones de trabajo, aspecto jurídico, India
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Dumas, Christelle.; Houdré, Cédric.
    Abstract: This report aims to analyse non-standard forms of employment (NSFE) in Africa. NSFEs include part-time work, fixed-term contracts of different durations, and casual work arrangements. In particular, we look at NSFE incidence by population sub-groups, and their consequences in terms of job quality, including earnings and future career prospects. We focus on two sub- Saharan African countries, Uganda and Ghana, which have experienced very different economic outcomes in recent decades.
    Keywords: precarious employment, temporary employment, informal employment, labour market, working conditions, wages, Ghana, Uganda, emploi précaire, emploi temporaire, emploi informel, marché du travail, conditions de travail, salaire, Ghana, Ouganda, empleo precario, empleo temporal, empleo informal, mercado de trabajo, condiciones de trabajo, salario, Ghana, Uganda
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Armagan Tuna Aktuna-Gunes (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); François Gardes (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Christophe Starzec (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this article, the size of informal economy is measured by using the full price method proposed by Gardes F. (2014). As an extension of this method, price elasticities are re-estimated by integrating the underreported earning shares both for wage workers and self-employers from cross-sectional data covering 2003-2006 in Turkey. The contribution of this paper is threefold: The size of informal economy is estimated by a statistical matching of the Turkish Family Budget and Time Use surveys through a complete demand system including full prices. Second, more accurate price and income elasticities are estimated by using the monetary incomes from informal activities for an emerging economy such as Turkey. Third, extended full price estimation of demand elasticities allow us to discover for which consumption group households are more likely to engage in informal work.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, la taille de l'économie informelle est estimée en utilisant la méthode du prix complet proposée par Gardes F. (2014). Les élasticités de prix sont estimées en intégrant les parties sous-déclarés des revenus des travailleurs indépendants et salariés en utilisant des données transversales couvrant 2003-2006 en Turquie. La contribution de cet article est triple : la taille de l'économie informelle est estimée par l'appariement statistique des enquêtes turques sur le Budget des Familles avec l'enquête sur l'Emploi du Temps en intégrant les prix complets dans le système complet de demande. Deuxièmement, les élasticités des prix et de revenu sont estimées plus justement en élargissant les ressources monétaires avec les parts des revenus provenant des activités informelles, pour une économie émergente comme la Turquie. Troisièmement, cette dernière nous permet de découvrir pour quels groupes de consommation sont les ménages plus susceptibles de s'engager dans le travail informel.
    Keywords: informal economy,complete demand system,full prices,demand elasticity,économie informelle,système complet de demande,prix complets,élasticités de demande
    Date: 2014–12
  6. By: Dasgupta, Sukti.; Bhula-or, Ruttiya.; Fakthong, Tiraphap.
    Abstract: The paper estimates the earnings gap between formal and informal employment in Thailand, using a sample of workers that includes both wage and self- employed workers. It finds that while the major part of the earnings differential is attributed to observed characteristics, there is a significant unexplained component. The paper then applies a quantile regression method to an earnings function to understand the factors that explain differences in earnings for different quartiles. Controlling for other factors, it finds that informally employed workers systematically present lower earnings at all earnings levels, and the difference increases with level of earnings. Furthermore, the estimated marginal effect of gender on earnings is negative and remains more or less constant across the different quartiles, while returns to education are positive and increase with income quartiles. The premium of working in services or manufacturing is higher at the lower end of the income distribution and the non- farm self-employed worker is likely to earn more than others. The findings of this study have implications for policies for productive transformation in the country, along with a focus on education and gender equality.
    Keywords: employment, informal employment, self employed, wage differential, Thailand, emploi, emploi informel, travailleur indépendant, disparité des salaires, Thaïlande, empleo, empleo informal, trabajador independiente, diferencia del salario, Tailandia
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Philippe Adair (University Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC)); Oksana Nezhyvenko (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA).)
    Abstract: Prostitution regimes in the EU-28 include prohibition, regulation and abolition; economics literature tackles this typology from the perspective of both free sex work and forced labour trafficking. We review the data sources on the demand-side and the supply-side in order to gauge how large is the sex market and informal employment for sex workers. We calculate Estimates 1A and 1B from miscellaneous sources, whereas HIV prevalence among sex workers from World Health Organisation provides Estimates 2A and 2B. We calculate Estimate 3 from victims of sexual exploitation trafficking according to data collected by the UNODC and Eurostat. We design an OLS model to test the five Estimates of prostitution in EU-28 according to GDP per capita, legislation, supply-side and demand-side variables. Last, we assess which might be the most likely Estimates as regards GDP enhancement in 2010, with respect to National Accounts adjustment for illegal production and consumption expenditure. Hence, we come up with a lower bound Estimate that may be used as a benchmark for macroeconomic policy.
    Keywords: EU-28; informal employment; National Accounts; Non Observed Economy; prostitution; sex work; sexual exploitation trafficking.
    JEL: E26 J46 O17
  8. By: Charles Loeffler; Holger Sieg; John MacDonald; Michael Chirico; Robert Inman
    Abstract: Property taxes play a central role in the financing of municipal government services. Yet, municipal governments commonly confront problems with property tax collection even when the tax base is known. There is surprisingly little evidence on what authorities can do to increase property tax compliance. This paper analyzes seven different property tax notification strategies through a randomized controlled experiment conducted with the City of Philadelphia. All seven notification strategies increase property tax compliance over the usual approach of simply sending a bill. The most effective notifications are the those that threaten to take out a lien on the property or to foreclose by sheriff's sale for continued failure to pay taxes. The results suggest that economic motives to pay property taxes are more effective than those that appeal to social norms.
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Jörg Pätzold; Hannes Winner (WIFO)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence of evasion in the context of a widely used commuter tax allowance, and explores evasion spillovers as a determinant of the individual compliance decision. For this purpose, we exploit discontinuities in the commuter allowance scheme and employ a research design resting on a large panel of individual tax returns. We find that around 30 percent of all allowance claims are overstated and, consistent with deliberate tax evasion, we observe sharp reactions of tax payers to thresholds where the allowance discretely jumps to a higher amount. Further, we use variation in job changes to uncover spillover effects from the work environment on the individual compliance decision. These effects appear to be asymmetric: job changers moving to companies with a higher fraction of cheaters increase their cheating. In contrast, movers to companies with a lower fraction of cheaters tend not to alter their reporting behaviour. We provide suggestive evidence that the spillover has more to do with an information environment, but can ultimately not reject other behavioural explanations such as asymmetric persistence of norms.
    Date: 2016–10–06
  10. By: Gilles Dufrénot (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique); Anne-Charlotte Paret (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence that the external debt-to-fiscal revenue ratio in the emerging countries has a power-law distribution. Such a distribution reflects the fact that debt distress or debt crises are extreme events that have been found to happen fairly often. We formally test the hypothesis of a power-law, going further than the usual visual inspection of the distribution of the variable of interest on a doubly logarithmic scale. We further show that such a distribution can be derived from a theoretical model in which the debt dynamics is explained by tax evasion and corruption. Using the framework of an optimal stochastic growth model, we model the debt-to-fiscal revenue ratio as a diffusion process for which the stochastic steady state distribution is derived using the properties of Itô diffusion processes.
    Keywords: power-law,stochastic growth,external debt,emerging countries
    Date: 2016–08
  11. By: Bardin Bahouayila (ESC - Eco Stat Consulting)
    Abstract: L’économie des pays en développement, africains notamment, est caractérisée par la coexistence d’un secteur formel et d’un autre dit informel. Ce dernier occupe, selon les pays et les zones urbaines ou rurales, 70 à 80 % de la population active. Au cours des dernières années, son expansion a été favorisée par les crises économiques cycliques et l’application de politiques d’ajustement structurel. Aujourd’hui, aucun domaine de la vie économique et sociale des pays en développement n’échappe à l’emprise du secteur informel. Ce secteur touche presque tous les domaines, en partant du domaine de l’agriculture à celui des TIC. Et ce, jusque dans les zones les plus reculées de beaucoup de pays de la région. L’informel crée des opportunités économiques qui contribuent à la richesse nationale ainsi qu’à la création d’emplois et d’activités créatrices de revenus au profit de diverses catégories sociales. Au Congo, le secteur informel semble être la partie visible et invisible de l’économie. Utilisé par tous, exploité par chacun quand l’occasion s’y présente, il constitue à n’en pas douter un nouveau secteur économique qui puise sa force dans le besoin, la créativité, l’imagination de ses promoteurs et permet de faire des hyper profits. Cependant, l’économie informelle est caractérisée par une précarité des emplois et freine les perspectives de développement du pays en raison de la concurrence déloyale qu’il fait aux entreprises formelles. De ce fait, un débat fondamental porte sur le fait de savoir comment l’Etat congolais doit réduire ce secteur afin d’éloigner ses employés à des emplois précaires et d’aboutir à des activités plus productives, croissantes et à des emplois de meilleure qualité. Comment structurer ce secteur pour qu’il sorte de la clandestinité ? Ceci dans le but d’améliorer les conditions de vie des ménages. Le ministère des petites et moyennes entreprises au Congo a été créé pour atteindre cet objectif. Depuis plus de dix ans, il réfléchit sur des stratégies et politiques favorisant à rendre légale ce secteur. Quelques impôts ont été créés, spécialement adaptés à leur mode de travail : la patente, l’impôt forfaitaire, etc. Bien que le gouvernement ait connu quelques problèmes d’application dus au manque de communication, aujourd’hui quelques Unité de Productions Informelles (UPI) paient la patente et d’autres impôts. Ainsi, au regard des efforts fournis par le gouvernement pour rendre formel ce secteur, nous pouvons nous poser la question de savoir si le gouvernement est sur la bonne voie. En d’autres termes, est ce que le nombre d’UPI a diminué au Congo ? Est-ce que le nombre des UPI enregistrées auprès des structures de l’Etat a augmenté ?
    Keywords: secteur informel, République du Congo, marché du travail
    Date: 2016–08–02
  12. By: Maurizio, Roxana.
    Abstract: Durante la última década América Latina experimentó un proceso de mejoras en el mercado de trabajo. Sin embargo, a pesar de ello, estos países siguen evidenciando déficits importantes en materia laboral y en la generación y distribución de los ingresos. Además de la informalidad, las formas atípicas de empleo afectan a un conjunto elevado de asalariados. Este documento analiza tres de estas modalidades: el empleo a tiempo parcial, temporario y la triangulación laboral. El análisis se lleva a cabo para Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Ecuador y Perú. Se estima su incidencia en el total del empleo asalariado y en diferentes subgrupos de ocupados, se analiza la evolución que estas formas atípicas han experimentado durante la última década y se evalúa en qué medida éstas son fuente de brechas salariales y de condiciones laborales más precarias.
    Keywords: precarious employment, temporary employment, part time employment, informal employment, wage differential, ILO standards, legal aspect, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru
    Date: 2016

This nep-iue issue is ©2016 by Catalina Granda Carvajal. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.