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Mobility and earnings in Ethiopia's urban labor markets, 1994-2004

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  • Bigsten, Arne
  • Mengistae, Taye
  • Shimeles, Abebe

Abstract

An analysis of panel data on individuals in a random selection of urban households in Ethiopia reveals large, sustained, and unexplained earnings gaps between public and private, and formal and informal sectors over the period 1994-2004. The authors have no formal evidence whetherthese gaps reflect segmentation of the labor market along either of these divides. In other words, they cannot show whether they are at least in part due to impediments to entry in the higher wage sector. But they do have evidence that, if segmentation explains any part of the observed earnings gaps, then it could only have weakened over the survey decade. The authors find, first, that the rate of mobility increased between the two pairs of sectors. Sample transition rates grew across survey waves, while state dependence in sector choice decreased. Second, the sensitivity of sector choice to earnings gaps increased over the same period. In particular, the role of comparative earnings in selection into the informal sector was evident throughout the survey decade and increased in magnitude over the second half of the period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4168.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4168

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Keywords: Labor Markets; Labor Standards; Work&Working Conditions; Markets and Market Access; Labor Management and Relations;

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References

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  1. Terrell, Katherine, 1993. "Public-private wage differentials in Haiti Do public servants earn a rent?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 293-314, December.
  2. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1986. "Wage Setting, Unemployment, and Insider-Outsider Relations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 235-39, May.
  3. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1992. "Loss of Skill during Unemployment and the Persistence of Employment Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1371-91, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Gong, Xiaodong & van Soest, Arthur, 2002. "Wage differentials and mobility in the urban labour market: a panel data analysis for Mexico," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 513-529, September.
  6. Gong, Xiaodong & van Soest, Arthur & Villagomez, Elizabeth, 2000. "Mobility in the Urban Labor Market: A Panel Data Analysis for Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 213, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Arne Bigsten & Peter Kimuyu & Karl Lundvall, 2004. "What to Do with the Informal Sector?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22(6), pages 701-715, November.
  8. Stewart, Mark, 2006. "The Inter-related Dynamics of Unemployment and Low-Wage Employment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 741, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," NBER Working Papers 1314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Pissarides, C., 1990. "Unemployment And The Persistence On Employment Shocks," Papers 377, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  12. Andrew Henley, 2004. "Self-Employment Status: The Role of State Dependence and Initial Circumstances," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 67-82, 02.
  13. Pratap, Sangeeta & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "Are labor markets segmented in developing countries? A semiparametric approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1817-1841, October.
  14. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L & Taylor, Mark P, 2000. "Unemployment Persistence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 24-50, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Pagés, Carmen & Stampini, Marco, 2009. "No education, no good jobs? Evidence on the relationship between education and labor market segmentation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 387-401, September.
  2. Aysit Tansel & Elif Oznur Kan, 2012. "Labor Mobility Across The Formal/Informal Divide in Turkey: Evidence From Individual Level Data," Working Papers 2012/1, Turkish Economic Association.
  3. Headey, Derek D. & Bachewe, Fantu Nisrane & Worku, Ibrahim & Dereje, Mekdim & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2012. "Urban wage behavior and food price inflation: the case of Ethiopia [Working Paper]:," ESSP working papers 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Marco Stampini, 2007. "¿Sin formación no hay buenos empleos? Elementos de juicio sobre la relación entre la formación y la segmentación del mercado laboral," Research Department Publications 4562, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. María del Pilar Casal & Bradford L. Barham, 2013. "Women’s Mobility in the Argentine Labour Market," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 59, pages 88-125, January-D.
  6. Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Dimensions of African inequality," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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