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Some Stylized Facts of The Informal Sector in Brazil in the 1980`s end 1990`s


  • Fábio Veras Soares


Dois fatos caracterizaram a evolução do setor informal no Brasil nas últimas duasdécadas: o aumento na proporção de empregados sem registro em carteira e a reduçãono diferencial de salários entre trabalhadores registrados (com carteira) e sem registro(sem carteira). Neste trabalho, foi brevemente revisada a literatura sobre o setorinformal em países em desenvolvimento e documentados tanto o aumento dainformalidade quanto a redução do diferencial de salários. Adicionalmente, investigousequais fatores foram responsáveis pela redução no diferencial de salários e como talredução contribuiu para a diminuição da desigualdade salarial entre 1981 e 1999.Entre os resultados encontrados, destacam-se: i) a coincidência entre esses doisfenômenos e as reformas pró-mercado do início dos anos 1990; ii) a redução dodiferencial de salários formal/informal como o segundo fator mais importante para aredução da desigualdade de salários, após educação. Por que e como isso ocorreuainda são questões abertas ao debate. Tais aspectos serão analisados em dois Textospara Discussão que serão publicados futuramente. Neste trabalho, tanto o impacto daabertura comercial sobre o setor informal como os efeitos da crescente indexação dossalários do setor informal ao salário mínimo serão estudados. Two facts have characterized the evolution of the informal sector in Brazil during thelast two decades: the increase in the proportion of non-registered workers and thediminishing wage gap between non-registered and registered workers. In this paper,we briefly review the literature on informal sector in developing countries anddocument both the increase of the informal sector and the fall in the wage gap inBrazil. Besides, we investigate which factors were responsible for the fall in the wagegap and how this reduction has contributed to reduce wage inequality between 1981and 1999. Among our findings, we would highlight: i) the coincidence between thesetwo movements and the market-oriented reforms of the early 1990?s; ii) that the fallin the formal/informal wage gap has substantially contributed to the decrease in wageinequality. After education, the fall in the wage premium due to the possession of awork-card was the main responsible for bringing down wage inequality. Why andhow it happened is an open debate. We will tackle this issue on two forthcomingpapers were we investigate the role of the trade liberalization (Soares, 2004a) and theeffects of the increasing indexation of informal sector wages to the minimum wage(Soares, 2004b).

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipe:ipetds:1020

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