Journal Article

What induces firms to subcontract to the informal sector? Evidence from a developing country

Applied Economics Letters, 27(3): 178-187

Adding specific firm-level insights into the factors driving firms to subcontract operations to the informal sector, this article uses data from garment exporters in Pakistan. Nesting the analysis in the larger literature on the drivers of the shadow economy, we find that sole proprietorship ownership structure was more likely to subcontract underground, as were older entrepreneurs. On the other hand, older firms were less likely to subcontract underground. The effects of the entrepreneur’s education, firm size, input costs and overall economic prosperity, economic freedom and government stability were largely insignificant.


Fahd Rehman


Publication Date
JEL Classification
L24, L67, H26, O53

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