Formal Measures of the Informal Sector Wage Gap in Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru
Using comparable micro-level data from three countries, we ask what type of person works in the informal sector and whether informal workers earn lower wages than observationally equivalent workers in the formal sector. The characteristics of informal workers are similar across countries. Surprisingly, when we control for these personal characteristics, we find a significant wage premium associated with formal employment in El Salvador and Peru but a premium associated with work in the informal sector in Mexico. A model of endogenous selection offers little help in explaining the differences in wage patterns. The research casts doubt on the received wisdom that the informal sector, always and everywhere, is a poorly-paid but easily- entered refuge for those who have no other employment opportunities.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1995|
|Publication status:||published, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 1997, 45, 367-392.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA|
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James J. Heckman & V. Joseph Hotz, 1986. "An Investigation of the Labor Market Earnings of Panamanian Males Evaluating the Sources of Inequality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 507-542.
- Irwin Bernhardt, 1994. "Comparative Advantage in Self-Employment and Paid Work," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 273-289, May.
- Marcouiller, Douglas & Young, Leslie, 1995. "The Black Hole of Graft: The Predatory State and the Informal Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 630-646, June.
- William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1984.
"A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory,"
NBER Working Papers
1314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- King, E.M., 1990. "Does Education Pay In The Labor Market?: The Labor Force Participation, Occupation, And Earnings Of Peruvian Women," Papers 67, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
- Magnac, Th, 1991. "Segmented or Competitive Labor Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 165-187, January.
- repec:cdl:ucsbec:23-94 is not listed on IDEAS
- Mazumdar, Dipak, 1983. "Segmented Labor Markets in LDCs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 254-259, May.
- Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989.
"The Employer Size-Wage Effect,"
NBER Working Papers
2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
- Mezzera J., 1990. "Informal sector, as in PREALC," ILO Working Papers 992788003402676, International Labour Organization.
- Gindling, T H, 1991. "Labor Market Segmentation and the Determination of Wages in the Public, Private-Formal, and Informal Sectors in San Jose, Costa Rica," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 584-605, April.
- Moock, P. & Musgrove, P. & Stelcner, M., 1990. "Education And Earnings In Peru'S Informal Nonfarm Family Enterprises," Papers 64, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
- Telles, Edward E, 1993. "Urban Labor Market Segmentation and Income in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 231-249, January.
- Tokman, Victor E., 1989. "Policies for a heterogeneous informal sector in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 1067-1076, July.
- Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
- repec:ilo:ilowps:278800 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:294. 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: (Christopher F Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.