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Labor mobility across the formal/informal divide in Turkey: Evidence from individual-level data

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  • Aysit Tansel
  • Elif Öznur Acar

Abstract

Purpose - This paper, the first one to use individual-level Turkish panel data, examines the labor market transitions in Turkey along the formal/informal employment divide. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the limited body of empirical evidence available on mobility and informality in the Turkish labor market. Design/methodology/approach - Toward this end, the authors use Turkish income and Living Conditions Survey panel data for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 to compute the Markov transition probabilities of individuals moving across six different labor market states: formal-salaried (FS), informal-salaried, formal self-employed, informal self-employed, unemployed and inactive. In order to examine the nature of mobility patterns in more detail, the authors then estimate six multinomial logit models individually for each transition adopting a number of individual and employment characteristics as explanatory variables. Findings - The authors find evidence that mobility patterns are fairly similar across different time spans, the probability of remaining in initial state is higher than the probability of transition into another state for all the labor market states, except for unemployment, there is only very limited mobility into the FS state. Gender, education and sector of economic activity are observed to display significant effects on mobility patterns. The results reveal several relationships between the covariates and likelihood of variant transitions. Research limitations/implications - This study provides a comprehensive and detailed diagnosis of the Turkish labor market. The market is observed to display a rather static structure throughout the period considered. The results indicate that a well recognition of underlying dynamics may help policy makers to produce various effective tools for addressing informality. Originality/value - First study to analyze labor market mobility across formal/informal sectors using newly available panel data.

Suggested Citation

  • Aysit Tansel & Elif Öznur Acar, 2017. "Labor mobility across the formal/informal divide in Turkey: Evidence from individual-level data," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 44(4), pages 617-635, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:jes-06-2015-0103
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    Cited by:

    1. Aysit Tansel & Elif Oznur Acar, 2016. "The Formal/Informal Employment Earnings Gap: Evidence from Turkey," Research on Economic Inequality,in: Inequality after the 20th Century: Papers from the Sixth ECINEQ Meeting, volume 24, pages 121-154 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:282-315 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ahmed Elsayed & Jackline Wahba, 2016. "Informalization Dynamics and Gains: Why Want a Job Contract?," Working Papers 1001, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2016.
    4. Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Kırdar, Murat G., 2017. "Quasi-experimental impact estimates of immigrant labor supply shocks: The role of treatment and comparison group matching and relative skill composition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 282-315.
    5. Joonmo Cho & Jaeseong Lee, 2015. "Persistence of the Gender Gap and Low Employment of Female Workers in a Stratified Labor Market: Evidence from South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(9), pages 1-27, September.
    6. Dildar, Yasemin, 2015. "Patriarchal Norms, Religion, and Female Labor Supply: Evidence from Turkey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 40-61.
    7. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:17:y:2012:i:4:p:578-592 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Binnur Balkan & Semih Tumen, 2016. "Firm-Size Wage Gaps along the Formal-Informal Divide: Theory and Evidence," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 235-266, April.
    9. Altug, Sumru & Tan, Barış & Gencer, Gözde, 2012. "Cyclical dynamics of industrial production and employment: Markov chain-based estimates and tests," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1534-1550.
    10. Abdel Rahmen El Lahga & Ines Bouassida, 2017. "Public-Private Wage Disparities, Employment and Labor Market Segmentation in Tunisia," Working Papers 1168, Economic Research Forum, revised 12 2017.
    11. Ayça Akarçay Gürbüz & Sezgin Polat & Mustafa Ulus, 2014. "In Limbo: Exploring Transition to Discouragement," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 26(4), pages 527-551, September.
    12. Fabián Slonimczyk & Vladimir Gimpelson, 2015. "Informality and mobility," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(2), pages 299-341, April.
    13. Slonimczyk, Fabian & Gimpelson, Vladimir, 2013. "Informality and Mobility: Evidence from Russian Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 7703, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Tansel, Aysit & Ozdemir, Zeynel / A., 2014. "Determinants of Transitions across Formal/Informal sectors in Egypt," MPRA Paper 61183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Ceyhun Elgin & Burak Sezgin, 2017. "Sectoral Estimates of Informality: A New Method and An Application to Turkish Economy," Working Papers 2017/02, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    16. Eryar, Değer & Tekgüç, Hasan, 2013. "Gender effect in explaining the mobility patterns in the labor market: a Case study from Turkey," MPRA Paper 46006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Ali Souag & Ragui Assaad, 2017. "The Impact of the Action Plan For Promoting Employment and Combating Unemployment on Employment Informality in Algeria," Working Papers 1161, Economic Research Forum, revised 12 Jun 2017.
    18. Z. Bilgen Susanli, 2016. "Understanding the NEET in Turkey," Eurasian Journal of Economics and Finance, Eurasian Publications, vol. 4(2), pages 42-57.
    19. Tansel, Aysit & Ozdemir, Zeynel / A., 2014. "Determinants of Transitions across Formal/Informal sectors in Egypt," MPRA Paper 61183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) South and South-West (ed.), 2012. "Regional Cooperation for Inclusive and Sustainable Development: South and South-West Asia Development Report 2012-2013," SSWA Books and Research Reports, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) South and South-West Asia Office, number brr4.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinomial logit; Informality; Mobility; Turkey; Europe and Central Asia; Labour market dynamics; Markov transition analysis; J21; J24; J40; J63; O17;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • 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

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