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Are labor markets segmented in Argentina? a semiparametric approach

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  • Sangeeta Pratap
  • Erwan Quintin

Abstract

A large part of the theoretical literature on informal economic activities in developing nations is founded on the assumption that labor markets are segmented. In this paper, we evaluate this premise with data from Argentina's permanent household survey for the 1993-1995 time period. We consider various definitions of informality based on the benefits mandated by Argentina's labor laws. We find that average wages are significantly higher in the formal sector than in the informal sector. We proceed to use a matching estimator to correct for the possible endogeneity of employment outcomes. The wage premium becomes much smaller when one controls for individual characteristics such as age, education and gender, and establishment characteristics, notably size. We then make use to the panel structure of our data to compute a difference-indifference estimate of the formal wage premium. This estimate does not significantly differ from zero, suggesting that unobserved ability accounts for the remaining wage differences across sectors. We conclude that the assumption that labor markets are competitive in Argentina cannot be rejected. The paper also provides a list of facts with which a satisfactory theory of informality for Latin America should be consistent. ; Economic Research Working Paper 0110

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Center for Latin America Working Papers with number 0701.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddcl:0701

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Keywords: Argentina ; Financial crises - Latin America ; Labor market ; Employment (Economic theory);

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2010. "The formal sector wage premium and firm size," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 37-47, January.
  2. Pedro S. Amaral & Erwan Quintin, 2003. "The Implications of Capital-Skill Complementarity in Economies with Large Informal Sectors," Macroeconomics 0309017, EconWPA.
  3. Fábio Veras Soares, 2004. "Some Stylized Facts of The Informal Sector in Brazil in the 1980`s end 1990`s," Discussion Papers 1020, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  4. Tansel, Aysit & Kan, Elif Oznur, 2012. "The Formal/Informal Employment Earnings Gap: Evidence from Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 6556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Nopo, Hugo & Atal, Juan Pablo & Winder, Natalia, 2010. "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 5085, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Nopo, Hugo, 2004. "Matching as a Tool to Decompose Wage Gaps," IZA Discussion Papers 981, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "Is There an Informal Employment Wage Penalty? Evidence from South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 3151, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Karolina Goraus & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "The Goodwill Effect? Female Access to the Labor Market Over Transition: A Multicountry Analysis," Working Papers 2013-19, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  9. Marisa Bucheli & Rodrigo Ceni, 2007. "Informality: Sectoral Selection and Earnings in Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 2007, Department of Economics - dECON.
  10. Guifu, Chen & Shigeyuki, Hamori, 2009. "Formal Employment, Informal Employment and Income Differentials in Urban China," MPRA Paper 17585, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Lall, Somik V. & Selod, Harris & Shalizi, Zmarak, 2006. "Rural-urban migration in developing countries : a survey of theoretical predictions and empirical findings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3915, The World Bank.
  12. Alzua María Laura, 2009. "Are Secondary Workers Informal Workers? Evidence for Argentina," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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