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The Persistence of Informality: Evidence from Panel Data

  • Akay, Alpaslan

    ()

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Khamis, Melanie

    ()

    (Wesleyan University)

Informality is a growing phenomenon in the developing and transition country labor market context. In particular, it is noticeable that working in an informal employment relationship is often not temporary. The degree of persistence of informality in the labor market might be due to different sources: structural state dependence due to past informality experiences and spurious state dependence due to time-invariant unobserved individual effects, which can alter the propensity of being in the informal sector independently from actual informality experiences. The purpose of our paper is to study the dynamics of informality using a genuine panel data set in the Ukrainian labor market. By estimating a dynamic panel data probit model with endogenous initial conditions, we find a highly significant degree of persistence due to previous informality experiences. This result implies that policies attempting to reduce current levels of informality may have a long-lasting effect on the labor market.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6163.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2012, 229 - 255
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6163
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  1. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2008. "Who Are the Microenterprise Owners? Evidence from Sri Lanka on Tokman v. de Soto," IZA Discussion Papers 3511, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alessie, R.J.M. & Hochgürtel, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2004. "Ownership of stocks and mutual funds : A panel data analysis," Other publications TiSEM 471d7c77-905c-4d47-84b9-d, School of Economics and Management.
  3. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Alessie, R.J.M. & Hochgürtel, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2001. "Ownership of Stocks and Mutual Funds : A Panel Data Analysis," Discussion Paper 2001-94, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Lehmann, Hartmut & Pignatti, Norberto, 2007. "Informal Employment Relationships and Labor Market Segmentation in Transition Economies: Evidence from Ukraine," IZA Discussion Papers 3269, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Arias, Omar & Khamis, Melanie, 2008. "Comparative Advantage, Segmentation and Informal Earnings: A Marginal Treatment Effects Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3916, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Arulampalam, Wiji & Stewart, Mark B., 2008. "Simplified Implementation of the Heckman Estimator of the Dynamic Probit Model and a Comparison with Alternative Estimators," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 884, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "Conceptualising Informality: Regulation and Enforcement," IZA Discussion Papers 4186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Stewart, Mark, 2006. "The Inter-related Dynamics of Unemployment and Low-Wage Employment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 741, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Thomas Dohmen & Melanie Khamis & Hartmut Lehmann, 2010. "Risk Attitudes and the Incidence of Informality among Workers: Evidence from a Transition Country," ESCIRRU Working Papers 22, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2, January.
  12. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
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