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Increasing the Cost of Informal Workers: Evidence from Mexico

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  • Samaniego de la Parra Brenda
  • Fernández Bujanda León

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of increasing the cost of informal jobs on formal firms' and workers' outcomes. We create novel datasets combining administrative records and household surveys data, and exploit exogenous variation in this cost generated by over 480,000 random work-site inspections in Mexico. Increasing the cost of informal jobs at formal firms leads to lower employment growth, lower formal job creation, and higher formal and informal job destruction. For informal workers, inspections increase the probability of being formalized at the inspected firm, but also increase the probability of dissolving the informal match. Transitioning to a formal job due to an inspection increases the probability of being poached to a new, formal job.

Suggested Citation

  • Samaniego de la Parra Brenda & Fernández Bujanda León, 2020. "Increasing the Cost of Informal Workers: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2020-19, Banco de México.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2020-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Otero-Cortés, 2022. "Heterogeneous Returns of Informality: Evidence From Brazil," Documentos de Trabajo Sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 20176, Banco de la República, Economía Regional.
    2. Acosta-Henao, Miguel, 2023. "Law enforcement and the size of the informal sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    3. Gutiérrez, L. H. & Rodríguez- Lesmes, P., 2022. "Informal versus Formal: Microfirms' Productivity Gaps," Documentos de Trabajo 20226, Universidad del Rosario.
    4. Matteo Bobba & Luca Flabbi & Santiago Levy, 2022. "Labor Market Search, Informality, And Schooling Investments," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 63(1), pages 211-259, February.
    5. Kathleen McKiernan, 2021. "Social Security Reform in the Presence of Informality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 40, pages 228-251, April.
    6. Hernando Gutierrez, Luis & Rodriguez-Lesmes, Paul, 2023. "Productivity gaps at formal and informal microfirms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 165(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm Behavior; Informal Economy; Informal Labor Market;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • J46 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Informal Labor Market

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