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Labor Market Regulations and Income Inequality: Evidence for a Panel of Countries

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  • César Calderón
  • Alberto Chong

    ()

  • Rodrigo Valdés

Abstract

This paper presents evidence on the impact of labor regulations on income inequality using two recently published databases on labor institutions and outcomes (Rama and Artecona, 2002; Botero, Djankov, La Porta, López-de-Silanes and Shleifer, 2003) and different cross-section and panel data analysis techniques for a sample of 121 countries over the 1970-2000 period. When we consider the techniques most likely to be robust, we find that: (i) de jure regulations do not improve income distribution; (ii) relative compliance with existing regulations improves income distribution; (iii) de facto regulations are weakly associated with improving income inequality. This result partly reflects the fact that regulations are endogenous and, more interestingly, different regulations have quite distinct effects. In particular, we find that any redistributive effect of labor regulations may come from trade union membership, public employment and mandated benefits (proxied by maternity leave).

Suggested Citation

  • César Calderón & Alberto Chong & Rodrigo Valdés, 2004. "Labor Market Regulations and Income Inequality: Evidence for a Panel of Countries," Research Department Publications 4375, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4375
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rémi Bazillier & Nicolas Sirven, 2006. "Les normes fondamentales du travail contribuent-elles à réduire les inégalités ?," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 21(2), pages 111-146.
    2. 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.
    3. Herzer, Dierk, 2014. "Unions and income inequality: a heterogenous cointegration and causality analysis," Working Paper 146/2014, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
    4. Fournier, Jean-Marc & Koske, Isabell, 2013. "Public employment and earnings inequality: An analysis based on conditional and unconditional quantile regressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 263-266.
    5. Remi Bazillier & Nicolas Sirven, 2008. "Is There a Social Kuznets Curve? The Influence of Labour Standards on Inequality," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 913-934.
    6. Arias, Omar & Blom, Andreas & Bosch, Mariano & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiszbein, Ariel & Lopez Acevedo, Gladys & Maloney, William & Saavedra, Jaime & Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina & Santamaria, Mauricio & Siga, 2005. "Pending issues in protection, productivity growth, and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3799, The World Bank.
    7. Jorge E. Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R., 2005. "Labor Markets and Institutions: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 1, pages 001-016 Central Bank of Chile.
    8. Rafal Kierzenkowski & Isabell Koske, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are they Compatible? Part 8. The Drivers of Labour Income Inequality – A Literature Review," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 931, OECD Publishing.
    9. repec:eee:streco:v:44:y:2018:i:c:p:34-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Töngür, Ünal & Elveren, Adem Yavuz, 2014. "Deunionization and pay inequality in OECD Countries: A panel Granger causality approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 417-425.
    11. Bruno, Randolph Luca, 2010. "Labor Market and Globalization: A Comparison of the Latin American and the East Asian Experiences in the 1980s and 1990s," IZA Policy Papers 16, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Isabell Koske & Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabelle Wanner, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 2. The Distribution of Labour Income," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 925, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J49 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Other
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • J47 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Coercive Labor Markets
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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