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The Effects of Labor Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector

In many economies, there is substantial economic activity in the informal labor market, beyond the reach of government policy. Labor market policies, which by definition apply only to the formal-sector can have important spillover effects on the informal sector. The relative sizes of the informal and formal sectors adjust, the skill composition of the workforce in the two sectors changes, etc. In this paper, we build an equilibrium search and matching model to analyze the effects of labor market policies in an economy with an informal sector. Our model extends Mortensen and Pissarides (1994) by allowing for ex ante worker heterogeneity with respect to formal-sector productivity. We analyze the effects of labor market policy on informal- and formal-sector output, on the division of the workforce into unemployment, informal-sector employment and formal-sector employment, and on wages. Finally, our model allows us to examine the distributional implications of labor market policy; specifically, we analyze how labor market policy affects the distributions of wages and productivities across formal-sector matches.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~06-06-06.

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Date of creation: 06 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~06-06-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Fax: 202-687-6102
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/Email:

Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "Job reallocation, employment fluctuations and unemployment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1171-1228 Elsevier.
  2. Sebastian Galiani & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2001. "Duration and Risk of Unemployment in Argentina," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 476, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. A. Kugler, M. Kugler, 2008. "Labour Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Working Papers eg0056, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2008.
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  5. Masatlioglu Yusufcan & Rigolini Jamele, 2008. "Informality Traps," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, December.
  6. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
  7. Boeri, Tito & Garibaldi, Pietro, 2006. "Shadow Sorting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Kolm, Ann-Sofie & Larsen, Birthe, 2006. "Does Tax Evasion Affect Unemployment and Educational Choice?," Working Papers 12-2003, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  9. Ann-Sofie Kolm & Birthe Larsen, 2002. "Social Norm, the Informal Sector, and Unemployment," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(3), pages 407-, August.
  10. Dolado, Juan J. & Jansen, Marcel & Jimeno, Juan F, 2005. "Dual Employment Protection Legislation: A Framework for Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 5033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  13. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in a Middle-Income Country: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 852, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Douglas Gollin & Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2004. "Farm Work, Home Work, and International Productivity Differences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 827-850, October.
  15. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher, 2001. "Taxes, Subsidies and Equilibrium Labour Market Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 2989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, November.
  17. Gong, Xiaodong & van Soest, Arthur & Villagomez, Elizabeth, 2000. "Mobility in the Urban Labor Market: A Panel Data Analysis for Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 213, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-87, December.
  19. Pratap, Sangeeta & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "Are labor markets segmented in developing countries? A semiparametric approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1817-1841, October.
  20. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Introduction to "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin American and the Caribbean"," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 1-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Gong, Xiaodong & van Soest, Arthur, 2002. "Wage differentials and mobility in the urban labour market: a panel data analysis for Mexico," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 513-529, September.
  22. Jacques, Jean-François & Fugazza, Marco, 2004. "Labor market institutions, taxation and the underground economy," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1888, Paris Dauphine University.
  23. Ximena Peña Parga & Camilo Mondragón-Vélez, 2008. "Business Ownership and Self-Employment in Developing Economies: The Colombian Case," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 004672, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  24. Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 2000. "Homework in Development Economics: Household Production and the Wealth of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 680-687, August.
  25. Satchi, Mathan & Temple, Jonathan, 2006. "Growth and Labour Markets in Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 5515, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. 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.
  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.
  28. Zenou, Yves, 2008. "Job search and mobility in developing countries. Theory and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 336-355, June.
  29. Amaral, Pedro S. & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "A competitive model of the informal sector," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1541-1553, October.
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