Should the Informal Sector be Regulated?

The informal sector plays a very important role in economic development in both complex and simple economies alike. Informality embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and it is the way people ensure their livelihoods even when excluded from the informal sector (Allen). Development literature puts most emphasis on the establishment of democratic capitalism as the only path to economic development in low and middle-income countries. This research largely ignores the fact that some rich countries with high HDI still have a large informal sector that fuels the economy; such as it is the case of Italy (with 33%) and Sweden (15%) of their economic activity coming from the informal sector. … More Should the Informal Sector be Regulated?

An $18.42 Minimum Wage? (graph)

ast year, President Obama called for increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by the end of 2015. He argued that after 2015, increases in the minimum wage should be tied to inflation, with the minimum wage rising in line with the consumer price index.

The purchasing power of the minimum wage peaked in the late 1960s at $9.54 an hour in 2014 dollars. That is over two dollars above the current level of $7.25 an hour. While raising the minimum wage to $9.54 would provide a large improvement in living standards for millions of workers who are currently paid at or near the minimum wage, it is worth asking a slightly different question: what if the minimum wage had kept in step with productivity growth over the last 44 years? In other words, rather than just keeping purchasing power constant at the 1968 level, suppose that our lowest paid workers shared evenly in the economic growth over the intervening years. … More An $18.42 Minimum Wage? (graph)