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Labor Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Patterns and Trends from Household Survey Microdata

  • Leonardo Gasparini

    ()

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP)

  • Leopoldo Tornarolli

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP)

This paper documents the main patterns and trends of alternative definitions of labor informality in Latin America and the Caribbean, by exploiting a large database of more than 100 household surveys covering the period 1989-2005. The evidence suggests that there are no signs of a consistent pattern of reduction in labor informality in the region. Regardless of the definition used, labor informality remains a pervasive characteristic of labor markets in LAC. In several countries the increase in labor informality seems to have been associated more to a sizeable increase in the propensity to set informal arrangements within groups, than to changes in the national employment structure toward more informal sectors.

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File URL: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/archivos_upload/doc_cedlas46.pdf
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Paper provided by CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata in its series CEDLAS, Working Papers with number 0046.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0046
Contact details of provider: Postal: Calle 48 No555 - La Plata (1900)
Phone: 21- 1466
Fax: 54-21-25-9536
Web page: http://cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/

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  1. Norbert Fiess & Marco fugazza & William Maloney, 2002. "Exchange Rate Appreciations, Labor Market Rigidities, and Informality," Working Papers 2005_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  2. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
  3. Pradhan, M.P. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1993. "Formal and informal sector employment in urban areas of Bolivia," Discussion Paper 1993-11, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Leonardo Gasparini, 2001. "Microeconometric decompositions of aggregate variables. An application to labor informality in Argentina," Working Papers 68, FIEL.
  5. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 2000. "Shadow Economies Around the World; Size, Causes, and Consequences," IMF Working Papers 00/26, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Guha-Khasnobis, Basudeb & Kanbur, Ravi & Ostrom, Elinor, 2006. "Beyond Formality and Informality," Working Papers 127038, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  8. 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.
  9. Jaime Saavedra & Alberto Chong, 1999. "Structural reform, institutions and earnings: Evidence from the formal and informal sectors in urban Peru," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 95-116.
  10. Portes, Alejandro & Blitzer, Silvia & Curtis, John, 1986. "The urban informal sector in Uruguay: Its internal structure, characteristics, and effects," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 727-741, June.
  11. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
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