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¿Más escolaridad, menos informalidad? Un análisis de cohortes para México y América Latina


  • Levy, Santiago

    (Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo)

  • Székely, Miguel

    (Centro de Estudios Educativos y Sociales, México)


What is the relation between schooling progress and informal employment? Using household surveys from Mexico and 17 other Latin American countries, we separate the trend in the rate of informal employment into three effects: i) differences in years of education of successive generations of workers; ii) transitions between formality and informality during the working life of each generation; and iii) labor market characteristics. We find that in Latin America there has been a slight reduction in labor informality, associated mainly with the first effect: recent generations of workers with more schooling have lower informality rates than previous ones. In the case of Mexico we also observe that younger generations of workers have more years of schooling than previous ones; however, this has not translated into lower informal employment due to adverse labor market characteristics. Thus, even though Mexico has experienced faster educational progress than the average of the region, its progress in reducing informality has been nil.// ¿Cuál es la relación entre escolaridad e informalidad laboral? Con las encuestas de hogares de México y otros 17 países de América Latina, separamos la evolución de la tasa de informalidad laboral en tres efectos: i) diferencias en los años de escolaridad de sucesivas generaciones de trabajadores, ii) tránsitos entre formalidad e informalidad durante el ciclo de vida laboral de cada generación, y iii) características del mercado de trabajo. Encontramos que en América Latina se ha observado una ligera reducción de la informalidad, asociada fundamentalmente al primer efecto: generaciones más recientes de trabajadores con más escolaridad experimentan menores tasas de informalidad que las anteriores. En el caso de México, también observamos que generaciones más recientes de trabajadores tienen más años de escolaridad que las previas; sin embargo, este efecto ha sido contrarrestado por el mercado laboral. Así, a pesar de que en México se han observado mayores avances en años de escolaridad que en el promedio de América Latina, el progreso para reducir la informalidad laboral ha sido nulo.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy, Santiago & Székely, Miguel, 2016. "¿Más escolaridad, menos informalidad? Un análisis de cohortes para México y América Latina," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(332), pages .499-548, octubre-d.
  • Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:83:y:2016:i:332:p:499-548

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    informalidad; escolaridad; mercado laboral; seguimiento de cohortes; análisis comparado; México vs. Latinoamérica;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J46 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Informal Labor Market
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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