Information, Learning, and Wage Rates in Low-Income Rural Areas
In this essay, we present evidence that employers in rural areas of developing countries have imperfect information with regard to the productivity of heterogeneous workers. In addition to obtaining direct measures of the completeness of employer information we consider the implications of information asymmetries for the structure of casual labor markets. We then evaluate the extent to which casual labor markets do, in fact, exhibit these attributes. We find that: (1) there is adverse selection out of the time-rate labor market; (2) employers discriminate statistically: given two workers with different observed characteristics but the same actual productivity, the worker from the group with the higher average productivity will have a higher wage; (3) employers exhibit learning over time: the extent of employer ignorance is negatively related to labor-market exposure on the part of the workers; and (4) calorie consumption affects productivity but is not rewarded in the time-rate labor market. In concluding we argue that an analysis of wage and employment patterns and the implications of these patterns for human capital investment in rural areas of developing countries that ignored the role of information problems could yield misleading conclusions.
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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:28:y:1993:i:4:p:759-790. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.