The returns to formality and informality in urban Africa
This paper addresses the questions as to the size and causes of earnings differentials in two urban African labor markets, those of Ghana and Tanzania. We have panel data so we can ask how far time invariant unobservables, market ability for short, matters in the determination of earnings. We also have information on whether the individual is own self-employed, self-employed with employees, a private or public sector wage employee and the size of the enterprise in which wage employees work or which the self-employed owns. We find, mirroring work on developed economies, that unobserved individual market ability is by far the most important factor explaining the variance of earnings. With controls for such ability the gap between private wage employment and civil servants is about 50%. With controls for enterprise size we find that wage employees earn the same as the self-employed in both Ghana and Tanzania. Enterprise size matters. At most half of the OLS effect of size on earnings can be explained by unobservable ability. Workers in the largest firms are the high earners with wage rates which exceed those of civil servants. These results all assume exogenous movement. We find evidence that endogeneity bias may be serious and may be understating the extent of both the size effect and the private sector wage (negative) premium. The implications of our results for understanding the nature of formal and informal employment in Africa are discussed.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jolliffe, Dean, 1998. "Skills, Schooling, and Household Income in Ghana," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 81-104, January.
- John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994.
"High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms,"
NBER Working Papers
4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
- Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Psacharopoulos, George, 1993.
"Returns to investment in education : a global update,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1067, The World Bank.
- Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
- Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995.
"Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models,"
104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
- Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Francis Teal & Geeta Kingdon & Justin Sandefur, 2005.
"Labor Market Flexibility, Wages and Incomes in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s,"
Economics Series Working Papers
GPRG-WPS-030, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Geeta Kingdon & Justin Sandefur & Francis Teal, 2006. "Labour Market Flexibility, Wages and Incomes in Sub‐Saharan Africa in the 1990s," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 18(3), pages 392-427.
- Pierella Paci & Pieter Serneels, 2007. "Employment and Shared Growth : Rethinking the Role of Labor Mobility for Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6765.
- Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2002.
"Size and efficiency in African manufacturing firms: Evidence from firm-level panel data,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
2002-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis, 2004. "Size and efficiency in African manufacturing firms: evidence from firm-level panel data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 369-394, February.
- Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2004. "Size and Efficiency in African Manufacturing Firms:Evidence from Firm-Level Panel Data," Development and Comp Systems 0409010, EconWPA.
- Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "Wage Dispersion: Why Are Similar Workers Paid Differently?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633191, June.
- Justin Sandefur & Pieter Serneels, 2006. "African poverty through the lens of labor economics: Earnings & mobility in three countries," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-060, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Anthony Wambugu & Godius Kahyarara, 2004.
"The Dynamics of Returns to Education in Kenyan and Tanzanian Manufacturing,"
Development and Comp Systems
- M�ns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Anthony Wambugu & Godius Kahyarara, 2006. "The Dynamics of Returns to Education in Kenyan and Tanzanian Manufacturing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(3), pages 261-288, 06.
- Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Anthony Wambugu & Godius Kahyarara, 2003. "The Dynamics of Returns to Education in Kenyan and Tanzanian Manufacturing," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-17, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Michael Clemens & Samuel Bazzi, 2009. "Blunt Instruments: On Establishing the Causes of Economic Growth," Working Papers 171, Center for Global Development.
- David Roodman, 2007.
"A Note on the Theme of Too Many Instruments,"
125, Center for Global Development.
- Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis & Wambugu, Anthony, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity and the relation between earnings and firm size: evidence from two developing countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 153-159, May.
- 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.
- Amartya K. Sen, 1966. "Peasants and Dualism with or without Surplus Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 425.
- Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991.
"Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
- Tom Doan, . "RATS program to replicate Arellano-Bond 1991 dynamic panel," Statistical Software Components RTZ00169, Boston College Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:s1:p:s23-s31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.