Opening the Pandora's box? Trade openness and informal sector growth

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This article constructs a labour transition model combining the features of job loss and job creation in the formal sector of an economy. The theoretical model examines the impact of trade liberalization on net job transition from formal to informal sector. In the light of our model we establish certain pre-conditions based on simulations under which trade liberalization is accompanied by rising informal sector. The model outcome conforms to the empirical evidence of rising informality with openness which we find in 18 Central Eastern European and Former Soviet Union countries.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 91711, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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