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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. Mark B. Stewart, 2007. "The interrelated dynamics of unemployment and low-wage employment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 511-531.
  2. Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "Conceptualizing Informality: Regulation and Enforcement," Working Papers 48926, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  3. Arulampalam, Wiji & Stewart, Mark, 2007. "Simplified Implementation of the Heckman Estimator of the Dynamic Probit Model and a Comparison with Alternative Estimators," IZA Discussion Papers 3039, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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).
  5. Alessie, Rob & Stefan Hochguertel & Arthur van Soest, 2002. "Ownership of Stocks and Mutual Funds: A Panel Data Analysis," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 3, Royal Economic Society.
  6. Hartmut Lehmann & Norberto Pignatti, 2008. "Informal Employment Relationships and Labor Market Segmentation in Transition Economies: Evidence from Ukraine," ESCIRRU Working Papers 3, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2008. "Who are the microenterprise owners ? Evidence from Sri Lanka on Tokman v. de Soto," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4635, The World Bank.
  8. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2, May.
  9. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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