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business environment

Should a one-time entry cost matter?

As I mentioned in my previous post, some critics have argued that too much attention is paid to the costs of starting a business. One way of stating the critique is that a cost that has to be paid only once ought not to have a big effect on a firm’s decisions.

Formal firms with informal workers

In my last post, I claimed that “it is common for formal firms to have many informal workers.” How do I know that?

Joyce Sadka and I have been doing some work using data from a labor court in Cuautitlán, which is located just outside of Mexico City. Each data point represents an individual who claimed to have been fired from a formal-sector firm without cause.

What prevents informal firms from becoming formal?

Mohammad Amin's picture

An earlier post on this blog talked about the benefits to informal or unregistered firms from registering. Using data on informal firms in Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar and Mauritius (Enterprise Surveys), I argued that a majority of the informal firms believe that registration brings real benefits, especially those associated with better access to finance and markets.

What does formal mean anyway?

I can’t stop thinking about Mohammad’s post on the benefits of formalization.

His post lists nine potential benefits to firms from formalization. You can check out the post to see the complete list. I was particularly interested in the potential benefit of “Better access to workers.”

More on the benefits of formalization

Mohammad Amin gave us a post on new results from a survey of informal firms. Good data from informal firms is indeed an exciting innovation.

I want to focus on his results from Côte d'Ivoire. It turns out that 95% of informal firms in Côte d'Ivoire believe that their access to credit would improve if they became formal firms. This result prompts Mohammad to ask “why don’t firms register then?”

Flying business class

Ryan Hahn's picture

Chris Blattman has a question for staff at the World Bank and UN:

I seldom fly business myself, even on Bank and UN consultancies, mostly to conserve my project funds for research assistants and survey expenses. My incentives are just right: money I spend on me comes out of money I'd spend making my research projects just a little better. Not so the rest of the agency?

What are the benefits to firms from formalization?

Mohammad Amin's picture

The Enterprise Surveys recently launched an ambitious project to survey informal firms around the globe. Results from three surveys conducted in Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Mauritius are now available. Informal firms surveyed were asked if getting registered would help them or not through better access to finance, raw materials, less bribes, etc.


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