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Determinants of Labor Demand in Colombia: 1976-1996

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  • Mauricio Cardenas
  • Raquel Bernal

Abstract

Colombia's unemployment rate rose to 20% during the late 1990s from less than 8% in 1994. This paper argues that this has been the result of high non-wage labor costs embodied in the legislation. The estimated own-wage labor demand elasticity is around 0.5, which implies that a reduction in those costs, while politically costly, can have a significant payoff in terms of equity and efficiency. We also find that adjustment costs of changing employment as well as wage elasticities were not affected by changes in the regulations regarding severance payments and dismissal costs. In this sense, structural reforms did have an impact on labor demand through its effect on relative prices alone. Finally, we conclude that the wage elasticity of labor demand increases (in absolute terms) during contractions. Hence, the increase in prices and the beginning of a recession had a significant effect on employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Cardenas & Raquel Bernal, 2003. "Determinants of Labor Demand in Colombia: 1976-1996," NBER Working Papers 10077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10077
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Medina & Christian Manuel Posso Suárez, 2010. "Technical Change and Polarization of the Labor Market: Evidence for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 007269, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    2. Valentina Calderón & Ana María Ibáñez, 2005. "Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005851, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    3. Lichter, Andreas & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2015. "The own-wage elasticity of labor demand: A meta-regression analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 94-119.
    4. Juan José Echavarría & Enrique López & Sergio Ocampo, 2011. "Choques, instituciones laborales y desempleo en Colombia," Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 29(66), pages 128-173, Diciembre.
    5. Andrés Álvarez & Marc Hofstetter, 2014. "Job vacancies in Colombia: 1976–2012," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-11, December.
    6. Raquel Bernal & Adriana Camacho & Carmen Elisa Flórez & Alejandro Gaviria, 2009. "Desarrollo económico: retos y políticas públicas," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005269, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    7. Andrea Acevedo Flórez & Adriana Morales Botett & Catalina Ramos Garcés, 2009. "Impacto económico y social del proyecto patios productivos implementado por las comunidades vulnerables de los departamentos de bolívar, córdoba y sucre," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007084, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    8. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover & Alejandro Hoyos, 2014. "Effects of Colombia's Social Protection System on Workers' Choice between Formal and Informal Employment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(3), pages 446-466.
    9. Bernal Raquel, 2009. "The Informal Labor Market in Colombia: identification and characterization," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
    10. Andres Escobar Espinosa, 2009. "The awakening of an andean tiger: can Colombia´s recent growth create enough employment?," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007085, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    11. Gustavo Hernández, 2012. "Payroll Taxes and the Labor Market: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 49(1), pages 99-123, May.
    12. Nelson Alvis Guzmán & Luis Alvis Estrada & Aura Medina Fuentes & María Murillo Ibáñez, 2009. "Condiciones Del Acceso A Los Servicios De Salud En La Población De Cartagena De Indias," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007079, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    13. Juan Carlos Vergara Schmalbach & Víctor Manuel Quesada Ibargüen & Melissa Manga Altamar & Vanessa Restrepo Torres, 2009. "La planeación agregada analizada desde el enfoque de la dinámica de sistemas," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007088, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    14. Martha Yánez Contreras & Alberto Ordóñez Flórez & Luis Suarez Ávila, 2009. "Cultura de uso y explotación económica de las playas en cartagena de indias," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007082, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    15. Efraín Cuadro Guzmán & Antonio Orozco Gallo, 2009. "Descripción metodológica y aproximación al cálculo de demanda de agua en la ciudad de Cartagena de indias para el año 2009," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007081, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    16. Arlen Guarín & Sebastián Londoño & Carlos Medina & Julieth Parra & Christian Posso & Carlos Eduardo Vélez, 2016. "Estimating the Effect of Attending a Public versus a Private University in Colombia on Academic Achievement **** Una Estimación del Efecto sobre el Rendimiento Académico de Asistir a una Universidad P," Borradores de Economia 968, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    17. Fredy Goyeneche González, 2009. "Cartagena De Indias: Globalizada Desde Su Origen, Fragmentada En Su Presente," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007080, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    18. Tomás Fontalvo Herrera, 2009. "Diseño de un sistema de gestión de la calidad modelo para los programas académicos de educación superior," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007089, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    19. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:17:y:2012:i:4:p:616-631 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Edgar Vicente MARCILLO YÉPEZ, 2012. "Cambio estructural y demanda de trabajo calificado en Colombia en el periodo 1950 - 2007," ARCHIVOS DE ECONOMÍA 010098, DEPARTAMENTO NACIONAL DE PLANEACIÓN.
    21. Humberto Consuegra De La Ossa, 2009. "Turismo y desarrollo económico: ¿hace el patrimonio la diferencia en el caribe?," REVISTA PANORAMA ECONÓMICO 007087, UNIVERSIDAD DE CARTAGENA.
    22. Sergio Clavijo, 2009. "Social Security Reforms in Colombia; Striking Demographic and Fiscal Balances," IMF Working Papers 09/58, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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