Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Regulation, governance and informality: an empirical analysis of selected countries

Roychowdhury, Punarjit and Dutta, Mousumi (2011): Regulation, governance and informality: an empirical analysis of selected countries.

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Abstract

The Informal Economy provides employment to more than 60 per cent of the labour population in the developing world despite being a site unfettered by regulations and social norms of fairness governing pay and work conditions. In assessing the factors behind an informal agent’s decision to formalize, it is asserted that rigidity in regulatory mechanism is the primary cause that impedes the process of formalization. However whether flexible regulations can encourage formalization by making gains of formalization more accessible and certain remains a question. In this paper we argue that flexible regulations does not necessarily manifest into the incentives that are essential for formalization. Reducing rigidities in regulation has a significant pay off only in the ambit of good governance. More specifically we hypothesise that degree of intensity of regulation will hardly matter in containing informality; rather what matters is the quality of governance and capability of the institutions to put the regulations into effect. Using secondary data for 46 countries over the period between 1980 and 2008, we empirically investigate into the linkages between governance, regulation and informal employment by developing static and dynamic panel data models and establish that in curbing informality what turns out to be crucial is the interaction between quality of governance and regulation.

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