Published: Dec. 14, 2020

Stephen W. Salant, Timothy James McQuade and Jason Winfree
Review of Development Economics, 16(4): 512-526, 2012.

Tilman Börgers and Timothy James McQuade
The B.E.
Journal of Theoretical Economics, 7(1): 2007.
In developing countries, consumers can buy many goods either in formal markets or in informal markets and decide where to purchase based on the product's price and anticipated quality. We assume consumers cannot assess quality prior to purchase and cannot, at reasonable cost, identify who produced the good they are considering. Many products (meats, fruits, vegetables, fish, grains) sold both in formal groceries and, less formally, on the street fit this description. We assume that producers can adjust quality at a cost and only firms in the formal sector are subject to government regulation. In the long run, producers migrate to the sector that is more pro table. Using this model, we demonstrate how regulations in the formal sector can lead to a quality gap between formal and informal sector goods. We moreover investigate how changes in regulation affect quality, price, aggregate production, and the number of firms in each sector.