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Gross Worker Flows in the Presence of Informal Labor Markets: Evidence from Mexico, 1987-2002

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  • Bosch, Mariano

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Maloney, William F.

    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper applies recent advances in the study of labor market dynamics to a representative developing country with a large unregulated of “informal” sector. It confirms the relevance of the recent mainstream models and debates surrounding gross worker flows to the developing country context, and offers a new view of the role of the informal sector and its role in labor market adjustments. It finds, first, that the formal salaried sector shows the same procyclical job finding rate and mildly countercyclical separation behavior identified in the recent US literature by Shimer (2005a) and Hall (2005). The unregulated informal sector, however, shows reasonable acyclicality in the job finding rate coupled with sharp countercyclical movements in the job separation rate, consistent with standard small firm dynamics and Davis and Haltiwanger (1992 and 1999). The differential behavior of regulated and unregulated sectors, and the finding of relative wage rigidity in the former, sheds suggestive light on the debate surrounding countercyclical job finding behavior in the US. Second, the patterns of worker transitions between all sectors, formal and informal correspond to the job-to-job dynamics observed in the US and not to the traditional idea of informality constituting the inferior sector of a segmented market. That said, the counter cyclical job finding in the formal sector combined with the acyclical job finding in informality does lead to the latter absorbing relatively more labor during downturns, even as its increased separation rates drive movements in unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William F., 2007. "Gross Worker Flows in the Presence of Informal Labor Markets: Evidence from Mexico, 1987-2002," IZA Discussion Papers 2864, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2864
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Duval Hernández & Pedro Orraca, 2008. "A Cohort Analysis of Labor Participation in Mexico, 1987-2008," Working papers DTE 440, CIDE, División de Economía.
    2. Pagés, Carmen & Stampini, Marco, 2009. "No education, no good jobs? Evidence on the relationship between education and labor market segmentation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 387-401, September.
    3. Aysit Tansel & Elif Öznur Acar, 2017. "Labor mobility across the formal/informal divide in Turkey: Evidence from individual-level data," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 44(4), pages 617-635, September.
    4. Azuara, Oliver, 2011. "Effect of universal health coverage on marriage, cohabitation and labor force participation," MPRA Paper 35074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. David M. Arseneau & Brendan Epstein, 2014. "Offshoring, Mismatch, and Labor Market Outcomes," International Finance Discussion Papers 1118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. A. Kerem Co?ar & Nezih Guner & James Tybout, 2016. "Firm Dynamics, Job Turnover, and Wage Distributions in an Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 625-663, March.
    7. Falco, Paolo & Maloney, William F. & Rijkers, Bob & Sarrias, Mauricio, 2015. "Heterogeneity in subjective wellbeing: An application to occupational allocation in Africa," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 137-153.
    8. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Maren M. Michaelsen, 2011. "Migration Magnet: The Role of Work Experience in Rural-Urban Wage Diff erentials in Mexico," Ruhr Economic Papers 0263, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Sahoo, Bimal & Neog, Bhaskar Jyoti, 2015. "Heterogeneity and participation in Informal employment among non-cultivator workers in India," MPRA Paper 68136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Azuara, Oliver & Marinescu, Ioana, 2011. "Informality and the expansion of social protection programs," MPRA Paper 35073, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. repec:zbw:rwirep:0263 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Carmen Pages & Lucia Madrigal, 2008. "Is Informality a Good Measure of Job Quality? Evidence from Job Satisfaction Data," Research Department Publications 4603, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    13. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Marco Stampini, 2007. "¿Sin formación no hay buenos empleos? Elementos de juicio sobre la relación entre la formación y la segmentación del mercado laboral," Research Department Publications 4562, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. Joanna Tyrowicz & Stanisław Cichocki, 2011. "Employed unemployed? On shadow employment in transition," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 259-281, May.
    15. Mr. Ruy Lama & Carlos Urrutia, 2011. "Employment Protection and Business Cycles in Emerging Economies," IMF Working Papers 2011/293, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Stanislaw Cichocki, 2012. "Self-employment and the business cycle: evidence from Poland," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(2), pages 219-239, January.
    17. Michaelsen, Maren M. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2011. "Migration Magnet: The Role of Work Experience in Rural-Urban Wage Differentials in Mexico," Ruhr Economic Papers 263, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    18. Azuara, Oliver & Marinescu, Ioana, 2013. "Informality and the expansion of social protection programs: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 938-950.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gross worker flows; labor market dynamics; informality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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