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Informal versus Formal: A Panel Data Analysis of Earnings Gaps in Madagascar

Listed author(s):
  • Nordman, Christophe Jalil

    ()

    (IRD, DIAL, Paris-Dauphine)

  • Rakotomanana, Faly

    (National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT))

  • Roubaud, François

    ()

    (IRD, DIAL, Paris-Dauphine)

Little is known about the informal sector's income structure vis-à-vis the formal sector, despite its predominant economic weight in developing countries. While most of the papers on this topic are drawn from (emerging) Latin American, Asian or some African countries, Madagascar represents an interesting case. So far, very few studies in general, even less so in Sub-Saharan Africa, used panel data to provide evidence of the informal sector heterogeneity. Taking advantage of the 1-2-3 Surveys in Madagascar, a four-wave panel dataset (2000-2004), we assess the magnitude of various formal/informal sector earnings gaps. Is there an informal sector job earnings penalty? Do some informal sector jobs provide pecuniary premiums and which ones? Do possible gaps vary along the earnings distribution? Ignoring distributional issues is indeed a strong limitation, given the compound question of how informality affects earnings inequality. We address heterogeneity issues at three different levels: the worker, the employment status (wage employment vs. self-employment) and the earnings distribution. Standard earnings equations are estimated at the mean and at various conditional quantiles of the earnings distribution. The results suggest that the sign and magnitude of the formal-informal sector earnings gaps highly depend on the workers' employment status and on their relative position in the earnings distribution. In the case of a poor and fragile country like Madagascar, these findings provide new and robust empirical backups for the existence of a mix between the traditional exclusion vs. exit hypotheses of 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 9970.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: May 2016
Publication status: published in: World Development, 2016, 86, 1–17
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9970
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  1. Gong, Xiaodong & Van Soest, Arthur & Villagomez, Elizabeth, 2004. "Mobility in the Urban Labor Market: A Panel Data Analysis for Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-36, October.
  2. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
  3. Bocquier, Philippe & Nordman, Christophe J. & Vescovo, Aude, 2010. "Employment Vulnerability and Earnings in Urban West Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1297-1314, September.
  4. Olivier Bargain & Prudence Kwenda, 2011. "Earnings Structures, Informal Employment, And Self‐Employment: New Evidence From Brazil, Mexico, And South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57, pages 100-122, May.
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  6. Huu Chi Nguyen & Christophe J. Nordman & François Roubaud, 2013. "Who Suffers the Penalty?: A Panel Data Analysis of Earnings Gaps in Vietnam," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(12), pages 1694-1710, December.
  7. Falco, Paolo & Kerr, Andrew & Rankin, Neil & Sandefur, Justin & Teal, Francis, 2011. "The returns to formality and informality in urban Africa," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages 23-31.
  8. Olivier Bargain & Prudence Kwenda, 2014. "The Informal Sector Wage Gap: New Evidence Using Quantile Estimations on Panel Data," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 117-153.
  9. Peter Glick & François Roubaud, 2006. "Export Processing Zone Expansion in Madagascar: What are the Labour Market and Gender Impacts?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(4), pages 722-756, December.
  10. Cling, Jean-Pierre & Razafindrakoto, Mireille & Roubaud, Francois, 2005. "Export processing zones in Madagascar: a success story under threat?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 785-803, May.
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  12. Christophe J. Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2009. "Gender differences in pay in African manufacturing firms," Working Papers hal-00421227, HAL.
  13. Ivan A. Canay, 2011. "A simple approach to quantile regression for panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 368-386, October.
  14. Christophe J. Nordman & François Roubaud, 2009. "Reassessing the Gender Wage Gap in Madagascar: Does Labor Force Attachment Really Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 785-808, 07.
  15. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  16. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4305 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Jean-Pierre Cling & Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud, 2007. "Export Processing Zones in Madagascar: the impact of the dismantling of clothing quotas on employment and labour standards," Working Papers DT/2007/06, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  18. Nichter, Simeon & Goldmark, Lara, 2009. "Small Firm Growth in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1453-1464, September.
  19. Strobl, Eric & Thornton, Robert, 2002. "Do Large Employers Pay More in Developing Countries? The Case of Five African Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Falco, Paolo & Kerr, Andrew & Rankin, Neil & Sandefur, Justin & Teal, Francis, 2011. "The returns to formality and informality in urban Africa," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(S1), pages S23-S31.
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