Informal Firms in Developing Countries
Entrepreneurial Stepping Stone or Consolation Prize?
The potential dynamic benefits of a firm having the option to adopt informal status are analysed. Informality may be a stepping stone, without which formality may never be achieved. This result is obtained for a broad range of realistic parameter values, suggesting a potential dynamic case for government support of informal firms. Informality may alternatively play a converse role as a consolation prize, with a firm only entering an industry (formally) because it recognizes that if profitability is disappointing, it can switch to informality. However, this result is obtained for a range of parameter values so narrow as to be of no practical significance.