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The informal sector accounts for a very large share in African economies, both in terms of GDP and employment. However, most national surveys on the informal sector focus on labor market issues and informal employment rather than the structure of informal businesses. And sample designs are shaped by a narrow and in the view misleading definition of informality as small scale individual or household firms. In this paper, the authors use firm-level data collected on 900 formal and informal businesses in the capital cities of Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal.
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