Working Paper
The Informal Sector During Crisis and Transition

One of the most notable phenomena during economic transition is the shrinkage of the public sector and expansion of the not working population, simultaneously with the expansion of both the formal and informal private sectors. We address the related labour dynamics of the pre and post 1996 crisis in Bulgaria with the use of a panel constructed from the 1995 and 1997 Bulgarian Integrated Household Surveys and a Markov chain model of job mobility. Our results support the hypothesis of substantial shrinkage of the public sector and movement out of the labour force. In addition, we find that during the rapid downsizing of the public sector, the informal sector expanded more rapidly than the formal private sector. The links between the formal and informal sectors are complex and differ by gender.