Last month Jaana Remes, a senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute, came to the World Bank to discuss the findings of a new report called How to Compete and Grow: A Sector Guide to Policy. Remes spoke on a topic that has not been a traditional strong suit of the Bank, viz. competitiveness policies for particular sectors of the economy.
Considerable effort and attention has been devoted to market-oriented reforms in the manufacturing and financial sectors and in physical infrastructure. While these are undoubtedly important sectors, there is very little by way of research on agricultural market reforms—loosely defined as deregulation of agricultural markets.
In a previous post, I highlighted the importance of focusing on the informal sector in developing countries. Most obviously, the informal sector in many developing countries is large.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that working from home makes it easier to balance work and family life. Women may be particularly likely to work from home since they are often viewed as the primary caregivers in the family in most developing countries. However, there is some concern in the literature that family responsibility may limit women’s ability to run a business, leading to fewer hours of operation and lower efficiency for home-based businesses run by women.
A recent study by La Porta and Shleifer (2008) estimates that for the world as a whole, between 23 and 35 percent of all economic activity occurs in the informal or the unregistered sector; for the poorest countries the figure is even higher—estimates range between 29 and 57 percent. We also have anecdotal evidence that women entrepreneurs and workers constitute a much higher proportion of the informal than the formal sector.
Editor's note: Dorsati Madani is a Senior Economist with the Strategy and Analysis Unit of the World Bank Group's Investment Climate Advisory department.
April 15 is the date that Americans have to send in their tax returns. Many folks scramble at the last minute to get their returns post-marked by this date or pay penalties on their taxes. (Of course, things got easier this year for American employees of international organizations after the release of the Geithner edition of TurboTax.) But in celebration of tax day, I thought I'd share a few data points from tax regimes in other parts of the world.
Microfinance has had its share of PR problems lately.