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Inequality and Employment in a Dual Economy: Enforcement of Labor Regulation in Brazil

  • Almeida, Rita K.

    ()

    (World Bank)

  • Carneiro, Pedro

    ()

    (University College London)

This paper studies the impact of an increase in the enforcement of labor regulations on unemployment and inequality, using city level data from Brazil. We find that stricter enforcement (affecting the payment of mandated benefits to formal workers) leads to: higher unemployment, less income inequality, a higher proportion of formal employment, and a lower formal wage premium. Our results are consistent with a model where stricter enforcement causes a contraction in labor demand in the formal sector; and where workers value mandated benefits highly, so that there is an increase in the formal sector labor supply, an increase in the willingness to become unemployed to search for a formal sector job, and a decrease in labor supply to the informal sector.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3094.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3094
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  1. Alejandro Micco - Carmen Pages, 2004. "Employment Protection and Gross Job Flows1," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 295, Econometric Society.
  2. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
  3. Ricardo Caballero & Kevin N. Cowan & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Effective labor regulation and microeconomic flexibility," Working Papers 04-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  4. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2009. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 28-46, March.
  5. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Sebastian Galiani & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2012. "Modeling Informality Formally: Households And Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 821-838, 07.
  7. James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2009. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1105-1129, 07.
  8. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-86, June.
  9. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1996. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 36, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  10. Loayza, Norman V. & Oviedo, Ana Maria & Serven, Luis, 2005. "The impact of regulation on growth and informality - cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3623, The World Bank.
  11. Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2004. "Microeconomic Evidence of Creative Destruction in Industrial and Developing Countries," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-114/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Ricardo Caballero G. & Eduardo Engel G. & Alejandro Micco A., 2004. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 7(2), pages 5-26, August.
  13. Amaral, Pedro S. & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "A competitive model of the informal sector," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1541-1553, October.
  14. repec:dgr:uvatin:2004114 is not listed on IDEAS
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