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Informality: Engine of Structural Transformation? The Case of Francophone Africa

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Benjamin, Nancy; Mbaye, Ahmadou
Conference: Informality and Development: A Conference in Honor of Elinor Ostrom
Location: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: October 22-23
Date: 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/10160
Sector: Social Organization
Region:
Subject(s): informality
Abstract: "The informal sector has a major role in economy-wide structural transformation. First, because it is the largest employer in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, because it produces half or more of total value added in poor African countries. And third, because the low productivity observed in informal activities--as compared to formal activities in the same country – indicate that higher returns could be earned by the factors there employed. This chapter reviews the following questions: Can informal firms drive Africa’s transformation? What gives rise to informality and what kind of jobs does it create? How does the large informal economy influence structural transformation? How can we improve the economic returns to factors employed in the informal sector?"

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