Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/89037
Authors: 
Busso, Matias
Fazio, Maria Victoria
Algazi, Santiago Levy
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
IDB Working Paper Series IDB-WP-341
Abstract: 
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: 
D24
L25
O47
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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