Globalisation and the informal economy in Myanmar

Jared Bissinger

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


To understand, quantitatively and qualitatively, the relationship between costs and benefits of globalization and the informal economy of Myanmar. This research will inform economic policy both domestic and international and provide greater insights into the causes and consequences of informal economics in isolated countries. For much of the last half-century, Myanmar’s economy has developed mostly in self-imposed isolation, during which time significant government intervention in and regulation of the economy have spurred a large informal economy and endemic elite rent seeking. This uniquely structured economy is becoming increasingly engaged in regional economic networks, thanks mostly to the recent rapid growth of neighbours such as China, India and Thailand. This dissertation will address how these structural characteristics, namely pervasive economic informality, affect the costs and benefits of economic globalization for small and medium enterprises in Yangon, Myanmar. In order to do this, I will partner with a domestic NGO to conduct a multi-stage survey in Yangon, as well as formal and semi-formal interviews with businesspeople, domestic and international government officials and representatives of international organizations and NGO’s. The survey will investigate the extent of informal activities – including labour and corruption. These surveys and interviews will form the basis of my analysis about the role of informality in shaping the costs and benefits of globalization. Based on this, I will detail the causes and consequences of informality and compare and contrast my findings with existing literature on informal economics and corruption. I will also quantify the consequences of informality to provide a more accurate measure of how these shadow markets influence the country’s macroeconomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-11
Number of pages2
JournalExpo 2011 Higher Degree Research : book of abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventHigher Degree Research Expo (7th : 2011) - Sydney
Duration: 10 Oct 201111 Oct 2011


  • Myanmar
  • Burma
  • informal economy
  • corruption


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