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Labor Mobility across the Formal/Informal Divide in Turkey: Evidence from Individual Level Data

  • Aysit Tansel

    ()

    (Middle East Technical University, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany and Economic Research Forum (ERF), Egypt)

  • Elif Oznur Kan

    ()

    (Cankaya University)

Informality has long been a salient phenomenon in developing country labor markets, thus has been addressed in several theoretical and empirical research. Turkey, given its economic and demographic dynamics, provides rich evidence for a growing, heterogeneous and multifaceted informal labor market. However, the existing evidence on labor informality in Turkey is mixed and scant. Along these lines, we aim to extend the existing literature by providing a diagnosis of dynamic worker flows across distinct labor market states and identifying the effects of certain individual and job characteristics on variant mobility patterns. More specifically, we first develop and discuss a set of probability statistics based on annual worker transitions across distinct employment states utilizing Markov transition processes. As Bosch and Maloney (2007:3) argue: “labor status mobility can be assumed as a process in which changes in the states occur randomly through time, and probabilities of moves between particular states are governed by Markov transition matrices”. Towards this end, we will use the novel Income and Living Conditions Survey (SILC) panel data set to compute the transition probabilities of individuals moving across the labor market states of formal-salaried, informal-salaried, formal self-employed, informal self-employed, unemployed and inactive. The transitions analysis is conducted separately for two, three and four year panels pertaining to 2006 to 2007, 2006 to 2008 and 2006 to 2009 transitions; for total, male and female samples; and lastly for total and non-agricultural samples. In this way, we aim to contribute to the limited body of stylized facts available on mobility and informality in the Turkish labor market. Next, we conduct multinomial logit regressions individually for each set of panel to identify the impact of individual characteristics (i.e. gender, age, education level, work experience, sector of economic activity, firm size, number of other household members, having/not having children, rural/urban) underlying worker transitions. The results reveal several relationships between the covariates and likelihood of variant transitions, and are of remarkable importance for designing policy to address labor informality and reduce its negative externalities.

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File URL: http://eaf.ku.edu.tr/sites/eaf.ku.edu.tr/files/erf_wp_1201.pdf
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Paper provided by Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum in its series Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers with number 1201.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:koc:wpaper:1201
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  1. Sabine Bernabe, 2002. "Informal Employment in Countries in Transition: A conceptual framework," CASE Papers case56, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  2. Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Luís Fernando Lima Soria, 2007. "Unemployment Duration and Labor Mobility in Argentina: A Socioeconomic-Based Pre- and Post-Crisis Analysis," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0054, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  3. Sabine Bernabè & Marco Stampini, 2009. "Labour mobility during transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(2), pages 377-409, 04.
  4. 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.
  5. Marcouiller, Douglas & Ruiz de Castilla, Veronica & Woodruff, Christopher, 1997. "Formal Measures of the Informal-Sector Wage Gap in Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 367-92, January.
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  7. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Marco Stampini, 2007. "No Education, No Good Jobs? Evidence on the Relationship between Education and Labor Market Segmentation," Research Department Publications 4561, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
  9. Enrico Fabrizi, 2009. "The Determinants of Labour Market Transitions," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 68(2), pages 233-265, July.
  10. Sabine Bernab? & Marco Stampini, 2008. "Labour mobility during transition: evidence from Georgia," LICOS Discussion Papers 20608, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  11. 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.
  12. Gorana Krstic & Peter Sanfey, 2007. "Mobility, poverty and well-being among the informally employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Working Papers 101, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  13. Huitfeldt, H., 1998. "Unemployment and Labour Market Transitions in the Czech Republic: Evidence from Micro-Data," Papers 1998-5, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  14. Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William, 2005. "Labor market dynamics in developing countries: comparative analysis using continuous time Markov processes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3583, The World Bank.
  15. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1976. "The urban informal sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 4(8), pages 655-679, August.
  16. Aysit Tansel, 1999. "Formal Versus Informal Sector Choice of Wage Earners and their Wages in Turkey," Working Papers 9927, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 1999.
  17. 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.
  18. Angel Calderon Madrid, 2000. "Job Stability and Labor Mobility in Urban Mexico: A Study Based on Duration Models and Transition Analysis," Research Department Publications 3117, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  19. Derek Yu, 2010. "Defining and measuring informal employment in South Africa: A review of recent approaches," Working Papers 09/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  20. 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.
  21. Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William, 2007. "Comparative analysis of labor market dynamics using markov processes : an application to informality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4429, The World Bank.
  22. Telles, Edward E, 1993. "Urban Labor Market Segmentation and Income in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 231-49, January.
  23. repec:dgr:kubcen:200046 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Bigsten, Arne & Mengistae, Taye & Shimeles, Abebe, 2007. "Mobility and earnings in Ethiopia's urban labor markets, 1994-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4168, The World Bank.
  25. Maciej Bukowski & Piotr Lewandowski, 2005. "Transitions from unemployment in Poland: a multinomial logit analysis," Labor and Demography 0511008, EconWPA, revised 07 Dec 2005.
  26. Silke Woltermann, 2002. "Job-Search Methods and Labor Market Transitions in a Segmented Economy - Some Empirical Evidence From Brazil," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 088, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  27. Aysit Tansel, 2001. "Wage Earners, Self Employed and Gender in the Informal Sector in Turkey," Working Papers 0102, Economic Research Forum, revised Jan 2001.
  28. Galli, Rossana & Kucera, David, 2004. "Labor Standards and Informal Employment in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 809-828, May.
  29. Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William F., 2007. "Gross Worker Flows in the Presence of Informal Labor Markets: Evidence from Mexico, 1987-2002," IZA Discussion Papers 2864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  31. Martha Alter Chen, 2007. "Rethinking the Informal Economy: Linkages with the Formal Economy and the Formal Regulatory Environment," Working Papers 46, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
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