(In)Formal and (Un)Productive: The Productivity Costs of Excessive Informality in Mexico
Maria Victoria Fazio and
Santiago Levy Algazi
No 4789, Research Department Publications from Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department
The laws that regulate relations between firms and workers in Mexico distinguish sharply between salaried and non-salaried workers, and they are at the root of the existence of informality. This paper provides a clear definition of informality, distinguishing it from illegality. Using Mexico’s Economic Census, the paper shows that the majority of firms are informal but legal, that there are more small formal firms than large ones, and that some large firms are informal. It also shows that informality and illegality increased in the period 1998-2008. Using a simple model of monopolistic competition to measure the productivity losses due to distortions that misallocate resources, the paper finds that one peso of capital and labor allocated to formal and legal firms is worth 28 percent more than if allocated to illegal and informal firms, and 50 percent more than if allocated to legal and informal firms. The paper concludes arguing that the distortions in the labor market created by informality reduce total factor productivity.
JEL-codes: D24 L25 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-eff and nep-iue
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (57) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 404 Not Found (http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=37042758 [301 Moved Permanently]--> https://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=37042758)
Working Paper: (In)Formal and (Un)Productive: The Productivity Costs of Excessive Informality in Mexico (2012)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:idb:wpaper:4789
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Research Department Publications from Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Felipe Herrera Library ().