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Informality, enforcement and growth

Dibyendu Maiti () and Chandril Bhattacharyya ()

Economic Modelling, 2020, vol. 84, issue C, 259-274

Abstract: This paper develops a two-sector growth model with formal and informal sectors for an economy that cares about redistribution and illustrates its relationship with the enforcement level. The technology gap and labour rigidity explicate the duality. The state can tax the formal sector to subsidise informal income and finance public infrastructure. Alternatively, enforcement, which is costly and corresponds to a variety of discrete components from the security of property rights and integrity of contracts to control of corruptions, can be chosen to favour the formal sector and discourage the informal sector. It is observed that weaker enforcement required to accommodate some degree of informality, which releases tax burden from the formal sector needed for redistribution, can accelerate growth rate. However, sufficiently weaker enforcement dampens the formal sector expansion and growth rate. The growth rate registers an inverted-U shaped relationship against the enforcement level. The optimum enforcement can, however, be higher without formal labour union and subsidisation. This must be higher for welfare maximisation than that of growth rate, especially when the consumer cares about the quality of enforcement.

Keywords: The informal sector; Growth; Enforcement; Taxation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J46 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2019.04.015

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