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Gross Worker Flows in the Presence of Informal Labor Markets: Evidence from Mexico, 1987-2002

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Author Info

  • Bosch, Mariano

    ()
    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Maloney, William F.

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper applies recent advances in the study of labor market dynamics to a representative developing country with a large unregulated of “informal” sector. It confirms the relevance of the recent mainstream models and debates surrounding gross worker flows to the developing country context, and offers a new view of the role of the informal sector and its role in labor market adjustments. It finds, first, that the formal salaried sector shows the same procyclical job finding rate and mildly countercyclical separation behavior identified in the recent US literature by Shimer (2005a) and Hall (2005). The unregulated informal sector, however, shows reasonable acyclicality in the job finding rate coupled with sharp countercyclical movements in the job separation rate, consistent with standard small firm dynamics and Davis and Haltiwanger (1992 and 1999). The differential behavior of regulated and unregulated sectors, and the finding of relative wage rigidity in the former, sheds suggestive light on the debate surrounding countercyclical job finding behavior in the US. Second, the patterns of worker transitions between all sectors, formal and informal correspond to the job-to-job dynamics observed in the US and not to the traditional idea of informality constituting the inferior sector of a segmented market. That said, the counter cyclical job finding in the formal sector combined with the acyclical job finding in informality does lead to the latter absorbing relatively more labor during downturns, even as its increased separation rates drive movements in unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2864.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2864

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Keywords: gross worker flows; labor market dynamics; informality;

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References

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  1. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "Unemployment and vacancy fluctuations in the matching model: inspecting the mechanism," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 19-50.
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  4. Eran Yashiv, 2005. "Evaluating the Performance of the Search and Matching Model," CEP Discussion Papers dp0677, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Efficiency and Sticky Wages: Evidence from Flows in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 11183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Davis, Steven J. & Faberman, R. Jason & Haltiwanger, John C., 2005. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources, Micro-Macro Links and the Recent Downturn," IZA Discussion Papers 1639, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  8. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  9. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 493-508.
  11. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," NBER Working Papers 12167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  13. James J. Heckman & Christopher J. Flinn, 1982. "New Methods for Analyzing Structural Models of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Models for the Analysis of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Eran Yashiv, 2005. "Evaluating the performance of the search and matching model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19906, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Michael Pries & Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Hiring Policies, Labor Market Institutions, and Labor Market Flows," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 811-839, August.
  18. Yashiv, Eran, 2005. "Evaluating the Performance of the Search and Matching Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5363, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tansel, Aysit & Kan, Elif Oznur, 2012. "Labor Mobility across the Formal/Informal Divide in Turkey: Evidence from Individual Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Marco Stampini, 2007. "¿Sin formación no hay buenos empleos? Elementos de juicio sobre la relación entre la formación y la segmentación del mercado laboral," Research Department Publications 4562, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Azuara, Oliver, 2011. "Effect of universal health coverage on marriage, cohabitation and labor force participation," MPRA Paper 35074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. A. Kerem Coşar & Nezih Guner & James Tybout, 2011. "Firm dynamics, job turnover, and wage distributions in an open economy," Working Papers 2011-06, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  5. Lama, Ruy & Urrutia, Carlos, 2012. "Employment Protection and Business Cycles in Emerging Economies," Working Papers 2012-003, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  6. Carmen Pages & Lucia Madrigal, 2008. "Is Informality a Good Measure of Job Quality? Evidence from Job Satisfaction Data," Research Department Publications 4603, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Maren M. Michaelsen, 2011. "Migration Magnet: The Role of Work Experience in Rural-Urban Wage Diff erentials in Mexico," Ruhr Economic Papers 0263, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  8. Pagés, Carmen & Stampini, Marco, 2009. "No education, no good jobs? Evidence on the relationship between education and labor market segmentation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 387-401, September.
  9. Azuara, Oliver & Marinescu, Ioana, 2011. "Informality and the expansion of social protection programs," MPRA Paper 35073, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Joanna Tyrowicz & Stanisław Cichocki, 2011. "Employed unemployed? On shadow employment in transition," Empirica, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 259-281, May.
  11. Azuara, Oliver & Marinescu, Ioana, 2013. "Informality and the expansion of social protection programs: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 938-950.

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