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Are labor markets segmented in Argentina? a semiparametric approach

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  • Sangeeta Pratap
  • Erwan Quintin

Abstract

A large part of the theoretical literature on informal economic activities in developing nations is founded on the assumption that labor markets are segmented. In this paper, we evaluate this premise with data from Argentina's permanent household survey for the 1993-1995 time period. We consider various definitions of informality based on the benefits mandated by Argentina's labor laws. We find that average wages are significantly higher in the formal sector than in the informal sector. We proceed to use a matching estimator to correct for the possible endogeneity of employment outcomes. The wage premium becomes much smaller when one controls for individual characteristics such as age, education and gender, and establishment characteristics, notably size. We then make use to the panel structure of our data to compute a difference-indifference estimate of the formal wage premium. This estimate does not significantly differ from zero, suggesting that unobserved ability accounts for the remaining wage differences across sectors. We conclude that the assumption that labor markets are competitive in Argentina cannot be rejected. The paper also provides a list of facts with which a satisfactory theory of informality for Latin America should be consistent. ; Economic Research Working Paper 0110

Suggested Citation

  • Sangeeta Pratap & Erwan Quintin, 2001. "Are labor markets segmented in Argentina? a semiparametric approach," Center for Latin America Working Papers 0701, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddcl:0701
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    Cited by:

    1. Aysit Tansel & Elif Oznur Acar, 2016. "The Formal/Informal Employment Earnings Gap: Evidence from Turkey," Research on Economic Inequality,in: Inequality after the 20th Century: Papers from the Sixth ECINEQ Meeting, volume 24, pages 121-154 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    2. Marisa Bucheli & Rodrigo Ceni, 2010. "Informality Sectoral Selection and Earnings in Uruguay," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 25(2), pages 281-307.
    3. Hugo Ñopo, 2008. "Matching as a Tool to Decompose Wage Gaps," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 290-299, May.
    4. Karolina Goraus & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "The Goodwill Effect? Female Access to the Labor Market Over Transition: A Multicountry Analysis," Working Papers 2013-19, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    5. Guifu, Chen & Shigeyuki, Hamori, 2009. "Formal Employment, Informal Employment and Income Differentials in Urban China," MPRA Paper 17585, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Pedro S. Amaral & Erwan Quintin, 2003. "The Implications of Capital-Skill Complementarity in Economies with Large Informal Sectors," Macroeconomics 0309017, EconWPA.
    7. Eliane El Badaoui & Eric Strobl & Frank Walsh, 2008. "Is There an Informal Employment Wage Penalty? Evidence from South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 683-710.
    8. Fábio Veras Soares, 2004. "Some Stylized Facts of The Informal Sector in Brazil in the 1980`s end 1990`s," Discussion Papers 1020, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    9. Lall, Somik V. & Selod, Harris & Shalizi, Zmarak, 2006. "Rural-urban migration in developing countries : a survey of theoretical predictions and empirical findings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3915, The World Bank.
    10. Juan Pablo Atal & Hugo R. Ñopo & Natalia Winder, 2009. "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1131, Inter-American Development Bank.
    11. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2010. "The formal sector wage premium and firm size," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 37-47, January.
    12. Alzua María Laura, 2009. "Are Secondary Workers Informal Workers? Evidence for Argentina," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Argentina ; Financial crises - Latin America ; Labor market ; Employment (Economic theory);

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets

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