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Informality and Productivity in the Labor Market: Peru 1986 - 2001

Listed author(s):
  • Alberto Chong

    ()

  • José Galdo
  • Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví

Peru has one of the highest informality rates in Latin America, with almost 60 percent of the urban labor force working at the margins of labor market legislation or in microenterprises that lack basic labor market standards (Marcouiller, Ruiz de Castilla, and Woodruff, 1997). This paper identifies two factors that can explain the variation in informality rates in the 1990s. First, Peru experienced a steady increase in employment allocation in traditionally “informal” sectors—in particular, retail trade and transport. Second, there was a sharp increase in nonwage labor costs, despite a reduction in the average productivity of the economy. In addition, the paper illustrates the negative correlation between productivity and informality by evaluating the impacts of the PROJOVEN youth training program.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4526.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4526
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  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. Eduardo Lora & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 1997. "La legislación laboral en el proceso de reformas estructurales de América Latina y el Caribe," Research Department Publications 4065, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
  4. 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, 01.
  5. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 454-465, August.
  6. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
  7. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
  8. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  9. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & Máximo Torero, 2000. "Labor Market Reforms and Their Impact on Formal Labor Demand and Job Market Turnover: The Case of Peru," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 43058, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Job Security Provisions and Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 699-726.
  11. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  12. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
  13. Chong, Alberto & Gradstein, Mark, 2007. "Inequality and informality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 159-179, February.
  14. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Marcouiller, Douglas & Ruiz de Castilla, Veronica & Woodruff, Christopher, 1997. "Formal Measures of the Informal-Sector Wage Gap in Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 367-392, January.
  16. Chong, Alberto & Galdo, Jose C., 2006. "Does the Quality of Training Programs Matter? Evidence from Bidding Processes Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2202, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Claudio Montenegro & Carmen Pagés, 2005. "Who Benefits from Labor Market Regulations? Chile 1960-1998," 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 4, pages 077-114 Central Bank of Chile.
  18. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira, 2003. "The Economics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 24(1), pages 85-129, January.
  19. Jaime Saavedra & Alberto Chong, 1999. "Structural reform, institutions and earnings: Evidence from the formal and informal sectors in urban Peru," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 95-116.
  20. Miguel Jaramillo & Jaime Saavedra, 2005. "Severance Payment Programs in Latin America," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 275-307, 09.
  21. Jaime Saavedra Chanduví & Eduardo Maruyama Sasaki, 2000. "Estabilidad laboral e indemnización: efectos de los costos de despido sobre el funcionamiento del mercado laboral peruano," Documentos de Investigación dt28, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE).
  22. 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.
  23. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
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