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Allocation of Labour in Urban West Africa: Implication for Development Policies

  • Dimova, Ralitza

    ()

    (University of Manchester)

  • Nordman, Christophe Jalil

    ()

    (IRD, DIAL, Paris-Dauphine)

  • Roubaud, François

    ()

    (IRD, DIAL, Paris-Dauphine)

With the use of comparable data from seven West African capitals, we attempt to assess the rationale behind development policies targeting high rates of school enrolment through the prism of allocation of labour and returns to skills across the formal and informal sectors. We find that people with high levels of education allocate to the small formal sector and receive high compensation for their education and experience. Less educated workers allocate to the informal sector. While self-employment reveals some characteristics of a sector of dynamic entrepreneurship, the characteristics of the informal salaried sector are closer to those of a sector of hidden unemployment, or a stepping stone for better jobs in the future.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3558.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Allocation of Labor in Urban West Africa: Insights from the Pattern of Labor Supply and Skill Premiums' in: Review of Development Economics, 2010, 14 (1), 75 - 92
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3558
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  1. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  2. Kuépié, Mathias & Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Roubaud, François, 2006. "Education and Labour Market Outcomes in Sub-Saharan West Africa," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4353, Paris Dauphine University.
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  9. T. Paul Schultz, 2003. "Evidence of Returns to Schooling in Africa from Household Surveys: Monitoring and Restructuring the Market for Education," Working Papers 875, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  10. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
  11. Christophe Nordman & Anne-Sophie Robilliard & François Roubaud, 2009. "Decomposing Gender and Ethnic Earnings Gaps in Seven West African Cities," Working Papers DT/2009/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  12. 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.
  13. Earle, John S. & Sakova, Zuzana, 2000. "Business start-ups or disguised unemployment? Evidence on the character of self-employment from transition economies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 575-601, September.
  14. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  15. Ralitza Dimova & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "Self-Selection And Wages During Volatile Transition," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-03, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  16. Calves, Anne-Emmanuele & Schoumaker, Bruno, 2004. "Deteriorating Economic Context and Changing Patterns of Youth Employment in Urban Burkina Faso: 1980-2000," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1341-1354, August.
  17. V. Kerry Smith & Mary F. Evans & Hyun Kim & Donald H. Taylor, 2004. "Do the Near-Elderly Value Mortality Risks Differently?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 423-429, February.
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