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Labor Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Patterns and Trends from Household Survey Microdata

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  • Leonardo Gasparini

    ()
    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP)

  • Leopoldo Tornarolli

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP)

Abstract

This paper documents the main patterns and trends of alternative definitions of labor informality in Latin America and the Caribbean, by exploiting a large database of more than 100 household surveys covering the period 1989-2005. The evidence suggests that there are no signs of a consistent pattern of reduction in labor informality in the region. Regardless of the definition used, labor informality remains a pervasive characteristic of labor markets in LAC. In several countries the increase in labor informality seems to have been associated more to a sizeable increase in the propensity to set informal arrangements within groups, than to changes in the national employment structure toward more informal sectors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0046.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0046

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Web page: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/
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  1. Pradhan, M. & Van Soest, A., 1993. "Formal and Informal Sector Employment in Urban Areas of Bolivia," Papers 9311, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Guha-Khasnobis, Basudeb & Kanbur, Ravi & Ostrom, Elinor, 2006. "Beyond Formality and Informality," Working Papers 127038, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  3. Fugazza, Marco & Fiess, Norbert M. & Maloney, William, 2002. "Exchange rate appreciations, labor market rigidities, and informality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2771, The World Bank.
  4. Portes, Alejandro & Blitzer, Silvia & Curtis, John, 1986. "The urban informal sector in Uruguay: Its internal structure, characteristics, and effects," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 727-741, June.
  5. Jaime Saavedra & Alberto Chong, 1999. "Structural reform, institutions and earnings: Evidence from the formal and informal sectors in urban Peru," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 95-116.
  6. Leonardo Gasparini, 2001. "Microeconometric decompositions of aggregate variables. An application to labor informality in Argentina," Working Papers 68, FIEL.
  7. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
  9. Gasparini Leonardo & Leonardo Tornaroli, 2009. "Labor Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Patterns and Trends from Household Survey Microdata," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  10. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
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