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Labor Market Rigidities and Informality in Colombia

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  • Camilo Mondragón-Vélez

    ()

  • Ximena Peña

    ()

  • Daniel Wills

    ()

Abstract

Informality is at the center of the economic debate in Colombia, fueled by the high level prevalent in the country and its substantial increase during the 1990s. We study the effect of labor market rigidities, namely the increase in non-wage costs and the minimum wage on the size of the informal sector, the transition into and out of informality, and wages. Our results indicate that rises in non-wage costs and the minimum wage, increase the probability of transition into informality as well as the size of the informal sector. The analysis of these effects along the income distribution points towards strong exclusion motives for low skilled informal workers, mainly driven by labor demand adjustments in response to increasing hiring costs; and argues somehow in favor of exit motives for workers at the top of the wage distribution. Furthermore, there is strong indexation of salaries to the minimum wage, except for low skilled informal workers. In addition, firms adjust salaries in response to increasing non-wage costs for all workers within the labor force.

Suggested Citation

  • Camilo Mondragón-Vélez & Ximena Peña & Daniel Wills, 2010. "Labor Market Rigidities and Informality in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 006717, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:006717
    as

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    File URL: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/publicaciones/dcede2010-07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
    3. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
    4. Camilo Mondragón-Vélez & Ximena Peña, 2010. "Business Ownership and Self-Employment in Developing Economies: The Colombian Case," NBER Chapters,in: International Differences in Entrepreneurship, pages 89-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2, January.
    6. Daniel Mejía & carlos Esteban Posada, 2007. "Informalidad: teoría e implicaciones de política," Borradores de Economia 455, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    7. Kristensen, Nicolai & Cunningham, Wendy, 2006. "Do minimum wages in Latin America and the Caribbean matter ? Evidence from 19 countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3870, The World Bank.
    8. Bernal Raquel, 2009. "The Informal Labor Market in Colombia: identification and characterization," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
    9. Michael J. Pisani & José A. Pagán, 2004. "Self-employment in the era of the new economic model in Latin America: a case study from Nicaragua," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 335-350, July.
    10. Wendy Cunningham, 2007. "Minimum Wages and Social Policy : Lessons from Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6760.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informality; non-wage costs; minimum wage; transition probability;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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