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Wage misalignment in CFA countries: are labor market policies to blame?

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  • Rama, Martin

Abstract

It seems natural to attribute to wage rigidity (stemming from highly distortionary labor policies) the over-valuation of the CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc after the negative external shocks of the 1980s. Using a variety of data sources, the author assesses the actual rigidity of wages in CFA countries and the relationship of wage rigidity to labor policies. He shows that: a) Workers'wages are higher in CFA countries than in similar countries outside the CFA zone and higher than the earnings of similar self-employed workers within the same countries. b) Real wages are rigid (in the sense of closely following fluctuations in governmental wages and consumer prices) but there is no evidence of nominal wage rigidity. c) Labor policies may not be the source of wage misalignment and real rigidity. When compared internationally, minimum wages in CFA countries are not high enough to account for the observed wage misalignment, and their adjustment over time has been responsive to real shocks. d) Unions in the private sector seem to have been more instrumental in creating wage moderation than in creating wage drift in CFA countries. Their members usually get lower wages than similar nonunionized workers, probably because of the subordinate nature of the labor movement in CFA countries. e) Government pay policies and (possibly) limited competition in product markets are the most probable causes of wage misalignment and real wage rigidity in CFA countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1873.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1873

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Related research

Keywords: Health Economics&Finance; Environmental Economics&Policies; Municipal Financial Management; Banks&Banking Reform; Labor Policies; Environmental Economics&Policies; Banks&Banking Reform; Health Economics&Finance; Municipal Financial Management; Economic Theory&Research;

References

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  1. MacIsaac, Donna & Rama, Martin, 1997. "Determinants of Hourly Earnings in Ecuador: The Role of Labor Market Regulations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S136-65, July.
  2. Karim Nashashibi & Stefania Bazzoni, 1994. "Exchange Rate Strategies and Fiscal Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(1), pages 76-122, March.
  3. repec:ilo:ilowps:294512 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Rama, Martin & Tabellim, Guido, 1998. "Lobbying by capital and labor over trade and labor market policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1295-1316, July.
  5. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1989. "The Wage Curve," NBER Working Papers 3181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joshua Aizenman, 1989. "The Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seignorage," NBER Working Papers 2937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:ilo:ilowps:293040 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Vijverberg, W. & Van Der Gaag, J., 1990. "Testing For Labor Market Duality: The Private Wage Sector In Cote D'Ivoire," Papers 66, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  10. Lopez, Ramon & Riveros, Luis, 1990. "Do labor market distortions cause overvaluation and rigidity of the real exchange rate?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 485, The World Bank.
  11. Nelson, Joan M, 1991. "Organized Labor, Politics, and Labor Market Flexibility in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 37-56, January.
  12. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  13. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 1994. "Les écarts de salaires entre les secteurs public et privé en Afrique francophone : analyse comparative," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 116(5), pages 89-118.
  14. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Do the Benefits of Exchange Rates Outweigh Their Cost? The Franc Zone in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Shantayanan Devarajan & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Do the Benefits of Fixed Exchange Rates Outweigh Their Costs? The Franc Zone in Africa," NBER Working Papers 3727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Levy, Victor & Newman, John L, 1989. "Wage Rigidity: Micro and Macro Evidence on Labor Market Adjustment in the Modern Sector," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 3(1), pages 97-117, January.
  17. Hoddinott, John, 1996. "Wages and Unemployment in an Urban African Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1610-26, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Romain Houssa, 2004. "Monetary Union in West Africa and Asymmetric Shocks: A Dynamic Structural Factor Model Approach," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-17, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Nicolai Kristensen & Dorte Verner, 2008. "Labor Market Distortions in Côte d'Ivoire: Analyses of Employer‐Employee Data from the Manufacturing Sector," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 20(3), pages 343-377.
  3. Jamal BOUOIYOUR & Oscar KUIKEU, 2012. "Pertinence de la dévaluation du Franc CFA de janvier 1994 : une évaluation par le taux de change réel d'équilibre. Cas de l'économie camerounaise," Working Papers 2011-2012_11, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Jul 2012.
  4. Azam, Jean-Paul, 2003. "Poverty and Growth in the WAEMU after the 1994 Devaluation," IDEI Working Papers 197, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Verner, Dorte, 2005. "Wage determination in Northeast Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3548, The World Bank.
  6. Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Verner, Dorthe, 2001. "Assymetries in Union Relative Wage Effects in Ghanian Manufacturing - An analysis Applying Quantile Regressions," CLS Working Papers 01-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
  7. Azam, Jean-Paul & Dia, Magueye & Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin, 2007. "Has Growth in Senegal After the 1994 Devaluation Been Pro-Poor?," MPRA Paper 11110, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Martin Rama, 2002. "Mondialisation, inégalités et politiques de l'emploi," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 16(1), pages 43-83.
  9. Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Verner, Dorte, 2001. "Asymmetries in union relative wage effects in Ghanaian manufacturing - an analysis applying quantile regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2570, The World Bank.
  10. Dimova, Ralitza & Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Roubaud, François, 2008. "Allocation of Labour in Urban West Africa: Implication for Development Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 3558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Azam, Jean-Paul & Ris, Catherine, 2001. "Rent-sharing, hold-up, and manufacturing wages in Cote d'Ivoire," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2600, The World Bank.
  12. Kaptouom, Patricia C., 2007. "The West African economic and Monetary Union: past and present of an exceptional north-south-south-integration," Discussion Papers 2007/19, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  13. Günther, Isabel & Launov, Andrey, 2012. "Informal employment in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 88-98.
  14. World Bank, 2004. "Senegal - Policies and Strategies for Accelerated Growth and Poverty Reduction : A Country Economic Memorandum," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14716, The World Bank.

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