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Macroeconomic adjustment with segmented labor markets

  • Agenor, Pierre-Richard
  • Aizenman, Joshua

This paper analyzes the macroeconomic effects of fiscal and labor market policies in developing countries. The basic framework considers a small open economy with a large informal production sector and a heterogeneous work force. The labor market is segmented as a result of efficiency considerations and minimum wage laws. The basic model is then extended to account for unemployment benefits, income taxation, and imperfect labor mobility across sectors. The analysis indicates, among other results, that a reduction in unemployement benefits has a positive effect on output of tradable goods by lowering both the level of efficiency wages and the relative rent captured by skilled workers.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 58 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 277-296

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:58:y:1999:i:2:p:277-296
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  1. Horton, Susan & Kanbur, Ravi & Mazumdar, Dipak, 1991. "Labor markets in an era of adjustment : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 694, The World Bank.
  2. Lindbeck, A. & Snower, D.J., 1990. "Segmented Labour Markets and Unemployment," Papers 483, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  4. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  5. Dimitri G. Demekas, 1990. "Labor Market Segmentation in a Two-Sector Model of an Open Economy," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(4), pages 849-864, December.
  6. Pisauro, Giuseppe, 1991. "The effect of taxes on labour in efficiency wage models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 329-345, December.
  7. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Santaella, Julio A., 1998. "Efficiency wages, disinflation and labor mobility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 267-291, February.
  8. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1990. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment--One View," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(2), pages 269-95, April.
  9. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1983. "Segmented Labor Markets in LDCs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 254-59, May.
  10. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 1997. "Technological change, relative wages, and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 187-205, February.
  11. Aizenman, Joshua, 1989. "Country Risk, Incomplete Information and Taxes on International Borrowing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 147-61, March.
  12. Edwards, Sebastian, 1988. "Terms of Trade, Tariffs, and Labor Market Adjustment in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(2), pages 165-85, May.
  13. Drazen, Allan, 1986. "Optimal Minimum Wage Legislation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 774-84, September.
  14. Julio A. Santaella & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1993. "Efficiency Wages and Labor Mobility in an Open Economy," IMF Working Papers 93/79, International Monetary Fund.
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