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Comparative analysis of labor market dynamics using Markov processes: An application to informality

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  • Bosch, Mariano
  • Maloney, William F.

Abstract

This paper discusses a set of statistics for examining labor market dynamics in developing countries and offers a simple search model that informs their interpretation. It then employs panel data from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico to generate a set of preliminary stylized facts about patterns of sectoral transition and duration. Finally, it nests two competing views of the informal sector within the model and uses variation in the statistics across age and the business cycle to help discriminate between them. The results suggest that a substantial part of the informal sector, particularly the self-employed, corresponds to voluntary entry, although informal salaried work may correspond more closely to the standard queuing view, especially for younger workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William F., 2010. "Comparative analysis of labor market dynamics using Markov processes: An application to informality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 621-631, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:17:y:2010:i:4:p:621-631
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor market dynamics Markov processes Search and matching models Informality;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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