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Earnings inequality and the informal economy: evidence from Serbia

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  • Peter Sanfey

    ()
    (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

  • Gorana Krstic

    (University of Belgrade)

Abstract

We analyse the extent and evolution of informality and inequality in the Serbian labour market between 2002 and 2007, using data from the Living Standard Measurement Surveys (LSMS). Two surprising results emerge. First, the level of informal employment has risen significantly over the period, despite strong economic growth and the introduction of a range of market-oriented reforms. Second, the level of inequality in earnings seems to have remained more or less constant over the period, in contrast to the experience of other countries at a similar stage of transition. We show that informal employees earn significantly less than those in the formal sector, controlling for a range of other variables, and informality plays an increasingly important role in explaining earnings inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist in its series Working Papers with number 114.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebd:wpaper:114

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Keywords: Informal economy; inequality; Serbia;

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  1. Newell, Andrew & Reilly, Barry, 1997. "Rates of Return to Educational Qualifications in the Transitional Economies," Discussion Papers in Economics 03/97, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  2. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Accounting for Inequality Trends: Decomposition Analyses for the UK, 1971-86," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 29-63, February.
  3. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  4. Krstic, Gorana & Litchfield, Julie & Reilly, Barry, 2007. "An anatomy of male labour market earnings inequality in Serbia, 1996-2003," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 97-114, March.
  5. Branko Milanovic, 1999. "Explaining the increase in inequality during transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 299-341, July.
  6. Gorana Krstic & Peter Sanfey, 2007. "Mobility, poverty and well-being among the informally employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Working Papers 101, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  7. Fields, Gary S & Yoo, Gyeongjoon, 2000. "Falling Labor Income Inequality in Korea's Economic Growth: Patterns and Underlying Causes," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(2), pages 139-59, June.
  8. Rosser, J. Jr. & Rosser, Marina V. & Ahmed, Ehsan, 2000. "Income Inequality and the Informal Economy in Transition Economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 156-171, March.
  9. Wan, Guanghua, 2004. "Accounting for income inequality in rural China: a regression-based approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 348-363, June.
  10. Asad Alam & Mamta Murthi & Ruslan Yemtsov & Edmundo Murrugarra & Nora Dudwick & Ellen Hamilton & Erwin Tiongson, 2005. "Growth, Poverty and Inequality : Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7287, October.
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