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The Informal Economy and Government Policy in Nigeria: Analytical implications of gender-constructed, geo-ethnic and religiously diverse agents with incomplete and asymmetric information

The Informal Economy and Government Policy in Nigeria: Analytical implications of gender-constructed, geo-ethnic and religiously diverse agents with incomplete and asymmetric information

 

Abstract: The paper investigates two questions as a means to a better understanding of the informal sector in Nigeria and more successful development trategies. The first question was: how should the Nigerian
informal sector be conceptualized and analysed, given that informal economic agents are gender-constructed, geo-ethnic and religiously heterogeneous and have incomplete information? The second was: how do informal economic agents perceive and respond to government policies? The paper observed that when informal economic agents are gender-constructed and their geo-ethnic and religious circumstances are non-homogeneous: the knowledge problem is non-uniform; rationality is
to be established, not assumed; relations are asymmetrical; choice situations are strategic; and behaviour of agents is better understood by
observation than by abstract analysis. Given incomplete knowledge for analysis, the tentative view deduced from empirical literature and some
preliminary analyses of a network of interrelations is that perception and response of informal agents to government policies are non-uniform and may depend on geo-ethno-religious factors, while the information set may be spatially non-uniform and relationally asymmetric. Therefore, the paper argued for an experimental research approach as a means of relaxing the knowledge problems identified in the paper.

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