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The Effects of the Minimum Wage in the Formal and Informal Sectors in Brazil

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  • Lemos, Sara

    ()
    (University of Leicester)

Abstract

The minimum wage literature is very limited on empirical evidence for developing countries. This already limited literature is even more limited on the effects of the minimum wage in the informal sector, where most of the poor are. Extending the understanding of minimum wage effects both in developing countries and in particular in the informal sector is crucial if the minimum wage is to be used as a policy to help poor people in poor countries. This paper estimates wage and employment effects, accounting for sorting into the formal and informal sectors. The data used is a monthly Brazilian household survey from 1982 to 2000 at individual and regional levels. The formal and informal sectors employment effects were both found to be negative, consistent with the presence of a large spike, substantial spillover effects, and the associated compression effect in the wage distribution of both sectors. This suggests a downwards sloping labour demand curve in both sectors, challenging the standard Two Sectors Model as inadequate to explain the effect of the minimum wage on the formal and informal sectors in Brazil and in Latin America more generally.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1089.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as: 'Minimum Wage Effects in a Developing Country' in: Labour Economics, 2009, 16(2), 224-237.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1089

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Keywords: employment effect; wage effect; minimum wage; informal sector; Brazil;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Auerbach, Paula & Genoni, Maria Eugenia & Pagés, Carmen, 2007. "Social Security Coverage and the Labor Market in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 2979, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Eugenia Fotoniata & Thomas Moutos, 2011. "Product Quality, Informality, and Child Labour," CESifo Working Paper Series 3537, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," Working Papers 060708, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2007.
  4. Gindling, T. H. & Mossaad, Nadwa & Trejos, Juan Diego, 2014. "The Consequences of Increased Enforcement of Legal Minimum Wages in a Developing Country: An Evaluation of the Impact of the Campaña Nacional de Salarios Mínimos in Costa Rica," IZA Discussion Papers 8253, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H. & Kanbur, Ravi, 2005. "Turning a Blind Eye: Costly Enforcement, Credible Commitment and Minimum Wage Laws," Working Papers 127081, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  6. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy & Siddique, Zahra, 2011. "Tax Evasion, Minimum Wage Non-Compliance and Informality," IZA Discussion Papers 6228, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Paula Auerbach & María Eugenia Genoni & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2005. "Cobertura del sistema de seguridad social y el mercado laboral en países en desarrollo," Research Department Publications 4422, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. Basu, Arnab K & Chau, Nancy H & Kanbur, Ravi, 2011. "Contractual Dualism, Market Power and Informality," CEPR Discussion Papers 8485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Betcherman, Gordon, 2014. "Labor market regulations : what do we know about their impacts in developing countries ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6819, The World Bank.
  10. Arslan Razmi, 2006. "Aspects of Informalization and Income Distribution in Developing Countries: A Modified Specific Factors Approach," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2006-03, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  11. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2009. "Minimum wages, wages and employment in various sectors in Honduras," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 291-303, June.
  12. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2007. "The effects of multiple minimum wages throughout the labor market: The case of Costa Rica," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 485-511, June.

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