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Dualistic sector choice and female labour supply: evidence from formal and informal sectors in Cameroon

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  • Christophe Muller and Gauthier Lanot

Abstract

In developing countries, labour supply and activity choices are distorted by the existence of labour market imperfections restricting the entry in the activity sectors or rationing the worked hours. The presence of decreasing returns to labour in the informal sector is another specific characteristic of labour market dualism in LDCs. Because of the existence of entry costs, hours rationing in the formal sector and the nonlinear earnings function in the informal sector that is quasi-autarkic in labour, the usual separation theorems of the standard labour supply models do not apply. Using data from a sample of women in Yaoundé (Cameroon) in 1993, choosing their activity in different sectors, we show that formal and informal labour markets have features associated with dualism and market imperfections. By contrast with the simplified models in the literature, we estimate a nonlinear nonseparable integrated model of activity choice and labour supply of female workers, jointly with market imperfections. We identify the effects of explanatory variables of the preferences and the earnings functions in this simultaneous structural framework. The results show that the earnings function in the informal sector is strictly concave in hours, and positively related to the education and experience of workers and the capital of the family firm. The presence of young children have a negative impact on the latent labour supply whereas that of other female members makes easier the supply of labour which is consistent with the existence of substituabilities in the domestic chores. Other children, age and marital status of the worker also influence the latent labour supply.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/1997-09.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1997
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/1997-09

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  1. Lemieux, Thomas & Fortin, Bernard & Frechette, Pierre, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply in the Underground Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 231-54, March.
  2. C. Gourieroux & Jean-Jacques Laffont & A. Monfort, 1979. "Coherency Conditions In Simultaneous Linear Equation Models With Endogenous Switching Regimes," NBER Working Papers 0343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rosen, Harvey S, 1976. "Taxes in a Labor Supply Model with Joint Wage-Hours Determination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(3), pages 485-507, May.
  4. Jacoby, Hanan G, 1993. "Shadow Wages and Peasant Family Labour Supply: An Econometric Application to the Peruvian Sierra," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 903-21, October.
  5. Hausman, Jerry A., 1980. "The effect of wages, taxes, and fixed costs on women's labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 161-194, October.
  6. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1992. "Labor Market Segmentation Theory: Reconsidering the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Piore, Michael J, 1983. "Labor Market Segmentation: To What Paradigm Does It Belong?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 249-53, May.
  8. Chiswick, Carmel U, 1983. "Analysis of Earnings from Household Enterprises: Methodology and Application to Thailand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 658-62, November.
  9. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1983. "Segmented Labor Markets in LDCs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 254-59, May.
  10. John L. Newman & Paul J. Gertler, 1994. "Family Productivity, Labor Supply, and Welfare in a Low Income Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 989-1026.
  11. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
  12. Amartya K. Sen, 1966. "Peasants and Dualism with or without Surplus Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 425.
  13. Richard Blundell, 1992. "Labour supply and taxation: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 15-40, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Francis Teal & Rosemary Atieno, 2006. "Gender, Education and Occupational Outcomes: Kenya`s Informal Sector in the 1990s," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-050, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Christophe Muller, 1998. "The measurement of dynamic poverty with geographical and intertemporal price variability: evidence from Rwanda," CSAE Working Paper Series 1998-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Zamo-Akono, C. & Tsafack-Nanfosso, R., 2008. "Fécondité, Santé et Participation des femmes au Marché du Travail," MPRA Paper 10839, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Justin van der Sluis & Mirjam van Praag & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Entrepreneurship Selection and Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-046/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 24 Sep 2004.

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