What is it about?

Institutional theory has been widely used to explain entrepreneurship in the informal economy. A first wave of institutionalist theory argued that informal entrepreneurship resulted from formal institutional failures and a second wave that such entrepreneurship results from an asymmetry between the laws and regulations of formal institutions and the unwritten socially shared rules of informal institutions. This paper evaluates the validity of these two waves of institutionalist explanation and a new third wave of institutional theory explaining informal entrepreneurship in terms of a lack of both vertical and horizontal trust.

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Why is it important?

Reporting data from a 2013 survey in Kosovo involving 500 face-to-face interviews with owners of small and medium-sized enterprises, 35.7 percent of sales are estimated to be unreported and a regression analyses reveals this is significantly higher among smaller and older firms, and firms owned by men. No significant association is found between formal institutional failings and the under-reporting of sales, but there is a statistically significant correlation between sales under-reporting and the level of vertical and horizontal trust. Taking account of the limitations of this single country study, the implications for theory and policy are then discussed


Displays the validity of institutional theory as a way of explaining entrepreneurship in the informal sector.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: EXPLAINING INFORMAL SECTOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN KOSOVO: AN INSTITUTIONALIST PERSPECTIVE, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, June 2018, World Scientific Pub Co Pte Lt, DOI: 10.1142/s1084946718500115.
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