nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2020‒12‒07
four papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Finance, gender, and entrepreneurship: India’s informal sector firms By Gang, Ira N.; Natarajan, Rajesh Raj; Sen, Kunal
  2. Informality, Job Quality, and Welfare in Sri Lanka By World Bank
  3. The politics and governance of informal food retail in urban Africa By Resnick, Danielle
  4. How to Improve Tax Compliance? Evidence from Population-wide Experiments in Belgium By De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Imbert, Clement; Spinnewijn , Johannes; Tsankova, Teodora; Luts, Maarten

  1. By: Gang, Ira N.; Natarajan, Rajesh Raj; Sen, Kunal
    Abstract: How does informal economic activity respond to increased financial inclusion? Does it become more entrepreneurial? Does access to new financing options change the gender configuration of informal economic activity and, if so, in what ways and what directions? We take advantage of nationwide data collected in 2010/11 and 2015/16 by India's National Sample Survey Office on unorganized (informal) enterprises. This period was one of rapid expansion of banking availability aimed particularly at the unbanked, under-banked, and women. We find strong empirical evidence supporting the crucial role of financial access in promoting entrepreneurship among informal sector firms in India. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and alternative measures of financial constraints using an approach combining propensity score matching and difference-in-differences. However, we do not find conclusive evidence that increased financial inclusion leads to a higher likelihood of women becoming entrepreneurs than men in the informal sector.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship,financial constraints,gender,informal sector,difference-indifferences,India
    JEL: O12 G28 L26
    Date: 2020
  2. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Poverty Reduction - Employment and Shared Growth Poverty Reduction - Inequality Poverty Reduction - Poverty Monitoring & Analysis Social Protections and Labor - Employment and Unemployment Social Protections and Labor - Labor Markets
    Date: 2020–08
  3. By: Resnick, Danielle
    Abstract: Rapid urbanization in Africa south of the Sahara continues to highlight the importance of informal retailers as a source of both food and employment for the urban poor. The most recent Africa Agriculture Status Report emphasizes that, due to demographic and socioeconomic transformation in the region, the center of gravity of Africa’s food system is shifting to urban areas (AGRA, 2020). Informal retailers—including those who vend in open-air wet markets and hawk on pavements and streets—provide a critical link between agricultural producers and consumers. While the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically highlighted the vulnerability of this constituency (Resnick et al., 2020), informal traders have long been victims of other public health, economic, and climate shocks (Battersby & Watson, 2019). To build the resilience of informal traders and enhance their contributions to urban food security, fundamental governance issues need to be addressed. This brief synthesizes research on informal traders conducted under the “Economywide Factors Affecting Agricultural Growth and Rural Transformation†flagship of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) led by IFPRI. The research spanned Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Zambia and involved comparative analysis across capital cities based on media events data, surveys with traders, and interviews with urban bureaucrats. In this way, traders’ experiences could be complemented with policymakers’ insights about bottlenecks and opportunities for reform
    Keywords: AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; CENTRAL AFRICA; EAST AFRICA; NORTH AFRICA; SOUTHERN AFRICA; WEST AFRICA; GHANA; ZAMBIA; NIGERIA; SENEGAL; trade; governance; urbanization; urban areas; politics; taxes; markets; informal trader; food retail; informal food retail
    Date: 2020
  4. By: De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Imbert, Clement; Spinnewijn , Johannes; Tsankova, Teodora (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Luts, Maarten
    Date: 2020

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