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Luis Franjo, Nathalie Pouokam, and Francesco Turino
In this paper we build a model of occupational choice with informal production and progressive income taxation. We calibrate the model to the Brazilian economy to evaluate the impact of removing financial frictions on informality. We find that financial deepening leads to a drop in the size of the informal sector (from 37 percent to 22 percent of official GDP), to an increase in measured TFP (by 4 percent), to an increase in official GDP (by 27 percent), to a decrease in tax evasion (by 17 percent) and to an increase in fiscal revenues (by 15 percent). When assessing the response of this policy at different levels of financial development, we find a non-linear relationship between the credit-to-GDP ratio on the one hand, and either the size of the informal economy, or GDP per capita on the other hand. We test these features with cross-country data and find evidence in favor of both types of non-linearity. We also investigate changes in the income tax progressitivity as an alternative policy and find it to be more effective in countries with a medium to high level of financial markets development.
Cem Karayalcin and Mihaela Pintea
The process of economic development is characterized by substantial reallocations of resources across sectors. In this paper, we construct a multi-sector model in which there are barriers to the movement of labor from low-productivity traditional agriculture to modern sectors. With the barrier in place, we show that improvements in productivity in modern sectors (including agriculture) or reductions in transportation costs may lead to a rise in agricultural employment and through terms-oftrade effects may harm subsistence farmers if the traditional subsistence sector is larger than a critical level. This suggests that policy advice based on the earlier literature needs to be revised. Reducing barriers to mobility (through reductions in the cost of skill acquisition and institutional changes) and improving the productivity of subsistence farmers needs to precede policies designed to increase the productivity of modern sectors or decrease transportation costs.