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Wages and Informality in Developing Countries

  • Costas Meghir

    ()

    (Economics Department, Yale University)

  • Renata Narita

    ()

    (World Bank)

  • Jean-Marc Robin

    ()

    (Sciences Po and UCL)

It is often argued that informal labor markets in developing countries promote growth by reducing the impact of regulation. On the other hand informality may reduce the amount of social protection offered to workers. We extend the wage-posting framework of Burdett and Mortensen (1998) to allow heterogeneous firms to decide whether to locate in the formal or the informal sector, as well as set wages. Workers engage in both off the job and on the job search. We estimate the model using Brazilian micro data and evaluate the labor market and welfare effects of policies towards informality.

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Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1018.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1018
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  1. Guillermo E. Perry & William F. Maloney & Omar S. Arias & Pablo Fajnzylber & Andrew D. Mason & Jaime Saavedra-Chanduvi, 2007. "Informality : Exit and Exclusion," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6730.
  2. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "The Formal Sector Wage Premium and Firm Size," IZA Discussion Papers 3145, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Prado, Jr., Jose Mauricio, 2007. "Government Policy in the Formal and Informal Sectors," Seminar Papers 751, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. van den Berg, Gerard J, 2003. "Multiple Equilibria and Minimum Wages in Labour Markets with Informational Frictions and Heterogenous Production Technologies," CEPR Discussion Papers 3977, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 865-915.
  7. Bosch, Mariano & Goñi-Pacchioni, Edwin & Maloney, William, 2012. "Trade liberalization, labor reforms and formal–informal employment dynamics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 653-667.
  8. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
  9. Rafael Perez Ribas & Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares, 2008. "O Atrito nas Pesquisas Longitudinais: O Caso da Pesquisa Mensal de EMPREGO (PME) do IBGE," Discussion Papers 1347, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  10. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Bontemps, C. & Robin, J.M. & van den Berg, G.J., 1998. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Non-Parametric Estimation," Papers 98-07, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
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  13. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415.
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  15. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage Bargaining with On-the-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 323-364, 03.
  16. Koujianou Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "The response of the informal sector to trade liberalization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 463-496, December.
  17. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2007. "Labor Reallocation in Response to Trade Reform," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt3cm38535, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  18. Jake Bradley & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Hélène Turon, 2014. "Public Sector Wage Policy and Labor Market Equilibrium: A Structural Model," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/23tsoiu9ve8, Sciences Po.
  19. Gerard J. van den Berg & Geert Ridder, 1998. "An Empirical Equilibrium Search Model of the Labor Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1183-1222, September.
  20. Gustavo Gonzaga, 2003. "Labor Turnover and Labor Legislation in Brazil," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2003), pages 165-222, August.
  21. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
  22. Mariano Bosch, 2006. "Job creation and job destruction in the presence of informal labour markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19785, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  23. Jolivet, Gregory & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2006. "The empirical content of the job search model: Labor mobility and wage distributions in Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 877-907, May.
  24. Ulyssea, Gabriel, 2010. "Regulation of entry, labor market institutions and the informal sector," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 87-99, January.
  25. Fugazza, Marco & Jacques, Jean-Francois, 2004. "Labor market institutions, taxation and the underground economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 395-418, January.
  26. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Carlos Henrique Corseuil, 2001. "The Impact of Regulations on Brazilian Labor Market Performance," Research Department Publications 3124, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  27. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2008. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv208, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  28. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & Van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model with Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1039-74, November.
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  32. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
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