IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Job creation and job destruction in the presence of informal labour markets


  • Bosch, Mariano


Recessions and policy interventions in labour markets in developing countries are characterized not only by changes in the unemployment rate, but also by changes in the proportion of formal or protected jobs. This reallocation between formal and informal jobs is large and occurs mainly because the job finding rate of formal jobs reacts substantially more than the job finding rate of informal jobs. This paper presents a search and matching model to capture this fact. I assume that firms operate the within firm margin of formality, choosing to legalize only those matches that are good enough to compensate the costs of formality. In this framework, recessions or stricter regulations in the labour market trigger two effects. As expected, they lower the incentives to post vacancies (meeting effect), but also affect the firms’ hiring standards, favouring informal contracts (offer effect). This new channel sheds light on how the actions of policy makers alter the outcomes in an economy with informal jobs. For instance, attempts to protect employment by increasing .ring costs will reallocate workers to informal jobs, where job separation is high. They are also likely to increase unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Bosch, Mariano, 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19785

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    2. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    3. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    4. Maxim Bouev, 2002. "Official Regulations and the Shadow Economy: A Labour Market Approach," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 524, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    5. Yamada, Gustavo, 1996. "Urban Informal Employment and Self-Employment in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 289-314, January.
    6. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2003. "Does Tax Evation Affect Unemployment and Educational Choice?," Working Paper Series 2003:22, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2009. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1105-1129, July.
    11. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    12. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, 2005. "Shadow Sorting," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 125-163 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2001. "Moral Costs, The Informal Sector And Unemployment," Working Papers 01-2001, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    14. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Carlos Henrique Corseuil, 2004. "The Impact of Regulations on Brazilian Labor Market Performance," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 273-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2006. "Growth and labour markets in developing countries," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-12, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    17. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
    18. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    19. António R. Antunes & Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti, 2004. "Accounting for the Hidden Economy: Barriers to Legality and Legal Failures," Working Papers w200420, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    20. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
    21. anonymous, 2002. "Amendment to Regulation A," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Dec.
    22. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
    23. Gilbert,Christopher L. & Vines,David (ed.), 2006. "The World Bank," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521029018, May.
    24. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    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. anonymous, 2002. "Issuance of final Regulation W," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Dec.
    27. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Costas Meghir & Renata Narita & Jean-Marc Robin, 2015. "Wages and Informality in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1509-1546, April.
    2. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2009. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1105-1129, July.
    3. Nicoletta Batini & Young-Bae Kim & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti, 2009. "Informal Labour and Credit Markets: A Survey," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0609, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    4. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2009. "Minimum wages, wages and employment in various sectors in Honduras," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 291-303, June.
    5. Gindling, T. H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2007. "Minimum Wages and the Welfare of Workers in Honduras," IZA Discussion Papers 2892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Flórez, Luz A., 2017. "Informal sector under saving: A positive analysis of labour market policies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 13-26.
    8. Bosch, Mariano & Esteban-Pretel, Julen, 2015. "The labor market effects of introducing unemployment benefits in an economy with high informality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-17.
    9. Luz Adriana Florez, 2015. "The Search and Matching Equilibrium in an Economy with an Informal Sector: A Positive Analysis of Labour Market Policies," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, August.
    10. Ioana M. PETRESCU, 2016. "The Effects of Economic Sanctions on the Informal Economy," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy Journal, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 4(4), pages 623-648, December.
    11. Mathan Satchi & Jonathan Temple, 2009. "Labor Markets and Productivity in Developing Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 183-204, January.
    12. Castillo, Paul & Montoro, Carlos, 2010. "Monetary Policy in the presence of Informal Labour Markets," Working Papers 2010-009, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    13. Vera Brenčič, 2010. "Do Employers Respond to the Costs of Continued Search?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(2), pages 221-245, April.
    14. repec:col:000089:013537 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. John Bennett, 2008. "Formality, Informality, and Social Welfare," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-06, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    16. Paul Castillo B. & Carlos Montoro Ll., 2012. "Inflation Dynamics in the Presence of Informal Labour Markets," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 15(1), pages 4-31, April.
    17. Nicoletta Batini & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti, 2011. "The Costs and Benefits of Informality," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0211, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    18. Brencic, Vera, 2009. "Employers' hiring practices, employment protection, and costly search: A vacancy-level analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 461-479, October.

    More about this item


    Informal economy; search models; labour markets; regulations.;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19785. 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: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.