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Allocation of Labor in Urban West Africa: Insights from the Pattern of Labor Supply and Skill Premiums

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  • Dimova, Ralitza
  • Nordman, Christophe Jalil
  • Roubaud, François

Abstract

Using comparable data from five West African capitals, we assess the rationale behind development policies targeting high rates of school enrollment through the prism of allocation of labor and earnings effects of skills across the formal and informal sectors, and not working. We find that people with high levels of education allocate to the small formal sector, while less educated workers allocate to the informal sector. While high levels of education are given more value in the relatively smaller sectors of salaried employment, observed skills like education appear to be fairly unprofitable in the larger self-employment sector. The fact that only the small formal sector in urban West Africa both seems to absorb highly educated workers and provide high skill premiums may be an important reason for the observed low demand for education and high dropout rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/10597.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Development Economics, 2010, Vol. 14, no. 1. pp. 74-92.Length: 18 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/10597

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Related research

Keywords: Labor Supply; Development; informal sector; formal sector; West Africa; Level of education;

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Cited by:
  1. Ralitza Dimova & Monnet Gbakou, 2012. "A right price for rice? Côte d’Ivoire insights into the welfare implications of the ‘global food crisis’," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 17212, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  2. Bocquier, Philippe & Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Vescovo, Aude, 2010. "Employment Vulnerability and Earnings in Urban West Africa," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4294, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Mathias Kuepie & Christophe Nordman, 2011. "Éducation et marchés du travail à Brazzaville et Pointe Noire (Congo-Brazzaville)," Working Papers DT/2011/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  4. Dimova, Ralitza & Gbakou, Monnet, 2013. "The Global Food Crisis: Disaster, Opportunity or Non-event? Household Level Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 185-196.

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