nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2021‒04‒26
four papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Out of the shadow: Encouraging online registration of micro and small businesses through a randomized controlled trial By Sarah Xue Dong; Dewi Meisari; Banu Rinaldi
  2. By Choice or by Force? Exploring the Nature of Informal Employment in Urban Mexico By Duval Hernández, Robert
  3. The gendered crisis: livelihoods and mental well-being in India during COVID-19 By Farzana Afridi; Amrita Dhillon; Sanchari Roy
  4. L'économie informelle, une activité organisée "hors organisation" By Yvon Pesqueux

  1. By: Sarah Xue Dong; Dewi Meisari; Banu Rinaldi
    Abstract: This paper presents the findings of a large scale randomized controlled field trial that informs micro and small businesses about a free and easy to use online registration portal for business registration. We find that in the context of Indonesia, a country with a large informal sector and complicated business registration process, simple online registration can be attractive to micro and small businesses. Sending three rounds of short WhatsApp or text messages resulted in 3.4% of recipients clicking the registration link in the messages. Only 0.1% of recipients registered through the portal, however, indicating that the registration portal is not easy enough to use. Different phrasing of messages results in different click rate, different registration rate, and different rates the sender’s number is blocked. Neutral message performs the best, followed by message that emphasize that registration is easy. Message that appeals to people’s patriotic feelings or message that emphasize the registration is free performs the last, depending on the outcome.
    Keywords: business registration; micro and small enterprises; informal sector; randomized controlled trial; behavioural insights;
    JEL: C93 O17 O29
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Duval Hernández, Robert (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: Using a special module of the 2015 Mexican Labour Force Survey with information on workers' preferences for jobs with social security coverage, I estimate that 80 per cent of informal workers in large urban areas would prefer to work in a job that provides them with such coverage. The estimation of a discrete choice econometric model which distinguishes between wanting a formal job and the probability of getting one shows that schooling increases the chances of being hired in formal employment and of having higher earnings in it. Women with greater responsibilities at home are less likely to want formal employment, and they also face a lower probability of being hired in such jobs. The findings indicate the segmentation of Mexican labour markets and the rationing of formal jobs, together with the existence of workers who voluntarily participate in informal employment. However, the estimated fraction of involuntary informal workers is quite high.
    Keywords: informal employment, labour markets, segmentation, rationing
    JEL: O17
    Date: 2021–04
  3. By: Farzana Afridi; Amrita Dhillon; Sanchari Roy
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the gendered dimensions of employment and mental health among urban informal-sector workers in India. First, we find that men's employment declined by 84 percentage points post-pandemic relative to pre-pandemic, while their monthly earnings fell by 89 per cent relative to the baseline mean. In contrast, women did not experience any significant impact on employment post pandemic, as reported by their husbands. Second, we document very high levels of pandemic-induced mental stress, with wives reporting greater stress than husbands.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Informal sector, Employment, Mental health, Social networks, Gender, India
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Yvon Pesqueux (ESD - Équipe Sécurité & défense - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM])
    Abstract: Ce texte est organisé de la manière suivante. Après une introduction cherchant à caractériser ce dont il s'agit et des remarques préliminaires destinées à éviter les préjugés en faisant de l'économie informelle une question sérieuse, il abordera successivement : la question du contexte, celle du passage de l'informel à l'économie informelle, un focus sur « l'épistémé des pauvres », des réflexions sur l'économie informelle puis sur l'« entrepreneur informel » (caractéristiques socioéconomiques, caractéristiques sociodémographiques, la mobilisation de leur réseau social par les « entrepreneurs informels », les motivations des « entrepreneurs informels », au-delà d'entrepreneuriat de nécessité et d'opportunité : une explication par la une approche institutionnaliste, faut-il formaliser les activités informelles ? La formalisation de l'informel) vers une théorie de l'entrepreneuriat informel (la perspective structuraliste, la perspective néolibérale, la perspective poststructuraliste), une conclusion, un focus sur la « culture d'inclusion » ou la gestion de la diversité par le principe de reconnaissance des différences : le modèle de N. M. Pless & T. Maak et un focus sur des éléments du rapport du Conseil d'orientation pour l'emploi le travail dissimulé (février 2019). 1 C. Baxerres « Pourquoi un marché informel du médicaments dans les pays francophones d'Afrique ? » Revue Politique Africaine, n° 3, 2011
    Date: 2021–04–13

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