nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2022‒05‒16
two papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Disability, Empathy and Trade: Evidence from Small-Scale Cross-Border Transactions in Uganda By Walkenhorst, Peter
  2. Household Vulnerability to Income Shocks in Emerging and Developing Asia: the Case of Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam By Alessia De Stefani; Athene Laws; Alex Sollaci

  1. By: Walkenhorst, Peter
    Abstract: Small-scale cross-border trade is ubiquitous in Africa. This paper uses disaggregated trade data to assess the determinants of the product portfolio of different groups of small-scale traders at the border between Uganda and Kenya. Using a weighted fractional response model, it finds that wheelchair-bound traders have a significantly higher propensity to handle products that are subject to high protection than other traders. This result suggests that border officials discriminate in favor of traders with disability in the enforcement of trade policies or the solicitation of bribes. More generally, the findings question the effective implementation of preferential trade agreements in Africa and call for trade policy reforms to be complemented by targeted measures to reduce the hardship faced by vulnerable groups within the population.
    Keywords: Informal cross-border trade; compassion; economic rents
    JEL: F14 F15 O17
    Date: 2021–12
  2. By: Alessia De Stefani; Athene Laws; Alex Sollaci
    Abstract: We leverage survey data from emerging and developing Asia to highlight different aspects of household vulnerability to income shocks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic: occupation in Cambodia, self-insurance mechanisms in Nepal, and financial leverage in Vietnam. Occupation and ex-ante income levels emerge as the main drivers of vulnerability. We estimate that the pandemic could have placed an additional 6 to 9 percent of the population of each country in a vulnerable position, with the impact concentrated on urban, informal, and service sector workers. Government intervention and financial access emerge as key resilience-enhancing mechanisms.
    Keywords: Income shocks; Informality; Covid-19; Developing Asia
    Date: 2022–04–01

This nep-iue issue is ©2022 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.