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Informality and Segmentation in the Mexican Labor Market

Author

Listed:
  • Alcaraz Carlo
  • Chiquiar Daniel
  • Salcedo Alejandrina

Abstract

In developing countries, some workers have formal jobs while others are occupied in informal positions. One view regarding this duality suggests that sectors are segmented, which means that a worker in the informal sector identical to another in the formal sector cannot get a formal position due to entry barriers. A second view states that workers self-select into informal jobs. Previous research suggests that these two situations may coexist in the same labor market. In this paper we identify the proportion of informal workers who are in each situation for the case of Mexico. Using a simple model of self-selection with entry barriers into the formal sector, we estimate that between 10 and 20 percent of informal workers would prefer to have a formal job. While this result provides evidence of the presence of some segmentation in the Mexican labor market, it suggests that an important proportion of workers in the informal sector self-select into it.

Suggested Citation

  • Alcaraz Carlo & Chiquiar Daniel & Salcedo Alejandrina, 2015. "Informality and Segmentation in the Mexican Labor Market," Working Papers 2015-25, Banco de México.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2015-25
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    File URL: http://www.banxico.org.mx/publications-and-press/banco-de-mexico-working-papers/%7BCBC21739-0FAA-227E-235A-4BDE2C6D04BD%7D.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
    2. Esfahani, Hadi S & Salehi-Isfahani, Djavad, 1989. "Effort Observability and Worker Productivity: Towards an Explanation of Economic Dualism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 818-836, September.
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    4. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    5. Alcaraz Carlo, 2009. "Informal and Formal Labour Flexibility in Mexico," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE, September.
    6. Pratap, Sangeeta & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "Are labor markets segmented in developing countries? A semiparametric approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1817-1841, October.
    7. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1988. "Labor Market Segmentation and the Union Wage Premium," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 527-530, August.
    8. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
    9. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy,Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 376-414, July.
    10. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
    11. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1985. "Testing Dual Labor Market Theory: A Reconsideration of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Günther, Isabel & Launov, Andrey, 2012. "Informal employment in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 88-98.
    13. Magnac, Th, 1991. "Segmented or Competitive Labor Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 165-187, January.
    14. Gasparini Leonardo & Leonardo Tornaroli, 2009. "Labor Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Patterns and Trends from Household Survey Microdata," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE, September.
    15. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Introduction to "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin American and the Caribbean"," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 1-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:col:000438:016614 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cristina Fernández & Leonardo Villar & Nicolás Gómez, 2017. "Taxonomía de la informalidad en América Latina," Coyuntura Económica, Fedesarrollo, vol. 47(1 y 2), pages 137-167, December.
    3. Leyva Gustavo & Urrutia Carlos, 2018. "Informality, Labor Regulation, and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 2018-19, Banco de México.
    4. Bazdresch Santiago, 2018. "Finance and Employment Formalization: Evidence from Mexico's ENIGH, 2000-2016," Working Papers 2018-14, Banco de México.
    5. repec:ecr:col070:44562 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:deveco:v:133:y:2018:i:c:p:346-374 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informality; Segmentation; Mexico; Labor Market.;

    JEL classification:

    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J46 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Informal Labor Market

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