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Labor market dynamics in developing countries: comparative analysis using continuous time Markov processes

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  • Bosch, Mariano
  • Maloney, William

Abstract

The authors study the dynamics of three developing country labor markets using recent advances in the estimation of continuous time Markov processes. They first examine the flows of workers among five states: three types of paid labor, unemployment, and out of the labor force. The authors find a high degree of commonality in patterns of worker flows among the three countries and attempt to compare the flexibility of the markets by examining an index of overall mobility. Second, they seek to establish whether the issues of advanced country labor markets apply to developing country markets or whether the latter constitute a different phylum. Paralleling the mainstream literature on the role of being out of the labor force as discouraged unemployment, the authors then identify some common stylized facts about the role of the informal self-employed and salaried sectors and to what degree they serve as a holding pattern versus a desirable alternative to formal sector work. In the process, the authors identify very strong differences in mobility patterns between men and women and attempt to shed some light on whether these differences arise from discrimination or perhaps instead the constraints imposed by household responsibilities. Finally, they study labor market adjustment across the business cycle in Mexico and identify patterns of job creation and destruction among the three paid sectors and confirm the mainstream view of the role of out of the labor force as a procyclical phenomenon.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3583.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3583

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Related research

Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Environmental Economics&Policies; Labor Standards; Labor Markets; Work&Working Conditions;

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  1. Maloney, William F. & Nunez, Jairo & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiess, Norbert & Montenegro, Claudio & Murrugarra, Edmundo & Santamaria,Mauricio & Sepulveda, Claudia, 2001. "Measuring the impact of minimum wages : evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2597, The World Bank.
  2. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy, Discrimination and Keynesian Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC'S: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227, May.
  4. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  5. Salop, Steven C, 1979. "A Model of the Natural Rate of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 117-25, March.
  6. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Stephen Nickell, 1995. "Labour Market Dynamics in OECD Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0255, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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