Melanie Khamis

  • Current position:
    Assistant Professor, Wesleyan University, USA
  • Positions/functions as policy advisor:
    DFID; World Bank
  • Research interest:
    Development economics, labor economics, applied microeconomics
  • Website:
  • Affiliations:
    Wesleyan University, USA, and IZA, Germany
  • Past positions:
    Research Associate, IZA, Germany (2008–2011)
  • Qualifications:
    PhD, London School of Economics, 2008
  • Selected publications:
    • “Does the minimum wage have a higher impact on the informal than on the formal labor market? Evidence from quasi-experiments.” Applied Economics 45:4 (2013): 477–495.
    • “Is informal sector work an alternative to workfare benefits? The case of pre-program expansion and economic crisis.” Review of Development Economics 16:4 (2012): 579–593.
    • “The persistence of informality: Evidence from panel data.” Research in Labor Economics 34 (2012): 229–255 (with A. Askay).
    • “A note on informality in the labor market.” Journal of International Development 24 (2012): 894–908.
  • Articles

Formalization of jobs and firms in emerging market economies through registration reform

Reforming registration might not be enough to persuade informal firms and workers to formalize—enforcement and other reforms may also be needed

May 2014

10.15185/izawol.67 67

by Melanie Khamis Khamis, M

Informal firms make up a major share of the economy in most developing countries. Expanding formalization could increase government tax revenues, boost firm profits and national income, and increase employee well-being by improving access to social security and health and workers’ benefits. Reforms to encourage firms to register include simplifying procedures, reducing the cost and time to register, and making more information available on registration procedures. Reforms might not result in higher registration and formalization. In some cases, better enforcement and wider development policies might be needed as well.