CHARLOT Olivier, TERRA Cristina, MALHERBET Franck
This paper proposes a unified theoretical framework where formal and informal firms coexist and face the same type of product and labor market imperfections: they have monopoly power in the goods market, they are subject to matching frictions in the labor market, and wages are determined by bargaining between large firms and their workers, through either individual or collective bargaining. Our model matches the main stylized facts on informality for developing countries and appears to be a good candidate for policy analysis. In this framework, we study the impact on informality, wages and unemployment of policies that may be used to reduce informality. We consider changes in product market regulation (PMR) and in two types of fiscal policies, labor taxes and formality enforcement. We find that lessening PMR decreases informality and unemployment simultaneously, indicating that there is not necessarily a tradeoff between informality and unemployment. The tradeoff appears when fiscal policies are used, though. Moreover, the impacts of PMR on unemployment and on wages are larger under collective than individual bargaining. With respect to wage inequality, lessening PMR reduces it, while lower taxes tend to increase the formal sector wage premium.
CHARLOT, O., MALHERBET, F. et TERRA, C. (2015). Informality in Developing Economies: Regulation and Fiscal Policies. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 51, pp. 1-27.