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Inequality and Employment in a Dual Economy: Enforcement of Labor Regulation in Brazil

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  • Almeida, Rita K.

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • Carneiro, Pedro

    ()
    (University College London)

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of an increase in the enforcement of labor regulations on unemployment and inequality, using city level data from Brazil. We find that stricter enforcement (affecting the payment of mandated benefits to formal workers) leads to: higher unemployment, less income inequality, a higher proportion of formal employment, and a lower formal wage premium. Our results are consistent with a model where stricter enforcement causes a contraction in labor demand in the formal sector; and where workers value mandated benefits highly, so that there is an increase in the formal sector labor supply, an increase in the willingness to become unemployed to search for a formal sector job, and a decrease in labor supply to the informal sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3094.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3094

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Related research

Keywords: unemployment; inequality; labor regulations; enforcement; informal sector;

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References

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  1. Alejandro Micco - Carmen Pages, 2004. "Employment Protection and Gross Job Flows1," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 295, Econometric Society.
  2. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1996. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 36, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  3. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2008. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv208, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2004114 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ricardo J. Caballlero & Eduardo Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 10398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2009. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 28-46, March.
  8. Bartelsman, Eric & Haltiwanger, John & Scarpetta1, Stefano, 2004. "Microeconomic evidence of creative destruction in industrial and developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3464, The World Bank.
  9. Ricardo Caballero & Kevin N. Cowan & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Effective labor regulation and microeconomic flexibility," Working Papers 04-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  10. Loayza, Norman V. & Oviedo, Ana Mar & Serv�n, Luis, 2005. "The Impact of Regulation on Growth and Informality: Cross-Country Evidence," Working paper 271, Regulation2point0.
  11. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1996. "Financial Dependence and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
  13. Sebastian Galiani & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2007. "Modeling Informality Formally: Households and Firms," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0047, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  14. Amaral, Pedro S. & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "A competitive model of the informal sector," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1541-1553, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Almeida, Rita K. & Susanli, Z. Bilgen, 2011. "Firing Regulations and Firm Size in the Developing World: Evidence from Differential Enforcement," IZA Discussion Papers 6006, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kaplan, David S. & Sadka, Joyce, 2008. "Enforceability of labor law : evidence from a labor court in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4483, The World Bank.
  3. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2009. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 28-46, March.
  4. Erik Jonasson, 2011. "Informal Employment and the Role of Regional Governance," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 429-441, 08.
  5. Bruhn, Miriam & Gallego, Francisco A., 2008. "Good, bad, and ugly colonial activities : studying development across the Americas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4641, The World Bank.
  6. Gkinni, Eleni & Vasilaki, Eleni, 2013. "Employment protection and income inequality: is there a role for the informal sector?," MPRA Paper 45464, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Adriana Kugler, 2011. "Is there an Anti-labor Bias of Taxes? A Survey of the Evidence from Latin America and Around the World," Research Department Publications 4746, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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