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Taxes, Transfers and the Distribution of Employment in Mexico

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  • Alonso Ortiz, Jorge
  • Leal Ordóñez, Julio C.

Abstract

The informal sector accounts for a substantial fraction of employed population in Mexico and other Latin American countries. In this paper we study the interaction between the tax and transfers system and the size and composition of informal sector. To do that we build a search model that can be calibrated to the Mexican data. Our model features two employment statuses: employed and unemployed; and two sectors: formal and informal. We estimate our model to data from Encuesta Nacional de Ocupaci ́on y empleo (ENOE) by simulated GMM. Then we perform three different policy analyses: changes in the distribution of the transfers between formal and informal sector workers, changes in the size of the transfer system, and changes in the progressivity of taxes and transfers (pending). Our model is able to capture key features of Mexican labor markets, such as the distribution of the labor force across sectors and the distribution of accepted wage offers. Dividing transfers equally between formal and informal sector workers increases the size of the informal sector by 5 percentage points, it also increases average wages in the formal sector by 6% whereas wages in the informal sector fall by 4%. When we double the size of transfers, the size of informal sector falls by 5 percentage points. However, it has a big effect on the distribution of accepted wage offers: average wages increase by 10% in the formal sector and they raise by 16% in the informal sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32014.

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Date of creation: 04 Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32014

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Keywords: Informal Sector; Mexico; Taxes; Transfers; General Equilibrium; Frictions;

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  1. Dabla-Norris, Era & Gradstein, Mark & Inchauste, Gabriela, 2008. "What causes firms to hide output? The determinants of informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 1-27, February.
  2. D'Erasmo, Pablo N. & Moscoso Boedo, Hernan J., 2012. "Financial structure, informality and development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 286-302.
  3. �ureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2010. "Value-Added Taxes, Chain Effects, and Informality," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 195-221, October.
  4. Mariano Bosch & Julen Esteban-Pretel, 2009. "Cyclical Informality and Unemployment," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-613, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  5. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  6. Antunes, Antonio R. & Cavalcanti, Tiago V. de V., 2007. "Start up costs, limited enforcement, and the hidden economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 203-224, January.
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