The comments section is down. We have sent a note to the powers that be, and it should be remedied soon.
I have been comparing the differences between manufacturing and services firms in the informal or unregistered sector. There is a rich literature on how and why these firms differ, but it is based on firms in the formal or registered sector. It’s a moot point whether differences between manufacturing and service firms in the formal sector also hold for the informal sector. For example, differences in scale economies between service and manufacturing firms are known to be important for the formal sector, but this is not immediately obvious when comparing these firms in the informal sector.
The common perception of the informal sector is that unregistered businesses are not as efficient as registered or formal businesses. One proposed reason for this is that, by not being registered, informal businesses face severe hardships in accessing finance, markets, public services and government programs. Hence, the usual policy response to informality is simple: try and encourage informal businesses to register.
Geoff Dyer explores the idea of using China's massive foreign exchange reserves to form an investment vehicle for emerging markets. He has assembled a series of proposals from leading Chinese thinkers, including some from within the government.
Editor's Note: Peter Kusek is an Investment Policy Officer with the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group.