Their Implications for Competition Law
Edited by Michal S. Gal, Mor Bakhoum, Josef Drexl, Eleanor M. Fox and David J. Gerber
Chapter 7: The informal economy and its interface with competition law and policy
This chapter deals with a topic which has often taken a back seat in the scholarship on competition law: the informal economy and its interface with competition law. Despite the growing literature on competition law and policy in developing and emerging economies over the last two decades, references are made to the ‘informal economy’ not only in order to acknowledge its existence and importance, but also the challenges it raises with regard to competition law and policy. How competition law and policy should approach this kind of business dealing from a theoretical point of view and how, in practice, competition authorities are trying to deal, or are not dealing at all, with the informal economy is the issue this chapter undertakes to wrestle with. The issue of informality and competition law is gaining traction, very slowly. Hence, it is common in the scholarship dealing with competition law in developing countries to refer to the informal economy as a characteristic of their economies. In 2009, an OECD round table on ‘Competition Policy and the Informal Economy’ provided useful insights on the challenges that the informal economy poses to competition law, from both a theoretical and a practical point of view. In addition to defining what informality is and providing information on how differently the concept of ‘informality’ can be defined, as well as its importance in many developing countries, the report identifies some negative effects the informal sector has on the economy.
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