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Informal Employment and Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Case of Mexico

Listed author(s):
  • Andrés Fernández Martín
  • Felipe Meza

This paper documents how informal employment in Mexico is countercyclical, lags the cycle and is negatively correlated to formal employment. This contributes to explaining why total employment in Mexico displays low cyclicality and variability over the business cycle when compared to Canada, a developed economy with a much smaller share of informal employment. To account for these empirical findings, a business cycle model is built of a small, open economy that incorporates formal and informal labor markets, and the model is calibrated to Mexico. The model performs well in terms of matching conditional and unconditional moments in the data. It also sheds light on the channels through which informal economic activity may affect business cycles. Introducing informal employment into a standard model amplifies the effects of productivity shocks. This is linked to productivity shocks being imperfectly propagated from the formal to the informal sector. It also shows how imperfect measurement of informal economic activity in national accounts can translate into stronger variability in aggregate economic activity.

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File URL: http://publications.iadb.org/bitstream/handle/11319/6780/Informal%20Employment%20and%20Business%20Cycles%20in%20Emerging%20Economies%3a%20The%20Case%20of%20Mexico.pdf?sequence=1
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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 6780.

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Date of creation: Jan 2015
Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6780
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  1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2006. "Phoenix Miracles in Emerging Markets: Recovering without Credit from Systemic Financial Crises," Research Department Publications 4474, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Marco Arena & Carmen Reinhart & Francisco Vázquez, 2006. "The Lending Channel in Emerging Economics: Are Foreign Banks Different?," NBER Working Papers 12340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2007. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 645-674 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Reuven Glick & Ramon Moreno & Mark M. Spiegel, 2001. "Financial crises in emerging markets," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar.23.
  5. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2007. "The external wealth of nations mark II: Revised and extended estimates of foreign assets and liabilities, 1970-2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 223-250, November.
  6. de Haas, Ralph & van Lelyveld, Iman, 2006. "Foreign banks and credit stability in Central and Eastern Europe. A panel data analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1927-1952, July.
  7. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "How Effective Are Capital Controls?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 65-84, Fall.
  8. Dennis P. Quinn, 2003. "Capital account liberalization and financial globalization, 1890-1999: a synoptic view," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 189-204.
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