Un-Incorporation and Conditional Misallocation: Firm-Level Evidence from Sri Lanka

Ranpati Dewage Thilini Sumudu Kumari, Shawn Xiaoguang Chen, Sam Hak Kan Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Un-incorporated firms are usually found less productive than their incorporated counterparts. However, little is known about the misallocation conditional on firms' incorporation status and their productivity. This paper investigates the resource misallocation across un-incorporated firms and gauges the consequent aggregate productivity loss in comparison with their incorporated counterparts. We examine the question by using firm-level survey data from Sri Lanka's manufacturing sector for 2005-2017 that provide unique information about firms' corporation status. Our findings suggest that misallocation is more severe in unincorporated firms than in incorporated ones, leading to extra 42 % aggregate TFP loss to the former. By comparing the sources of misallocation between the two types of firms, we find capital is more misallocated relative to output and there is a stronger positive correlation between firm-specific distortion and productivity across the unincorporated firms. Our findings suggest that the un-incorporated firms suffer additional productivity loss at the aggregate level due to misallocation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1035
Number of pages37
JournalB.E. Journal of Macroeconomics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2023


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