IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/38858.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The impacts of trade liberalization on informal labor markets: an evaluation of the Brazilian case

Author

Listed:
  • Paz, Lourenco

Abstract

Several developing countries that underwent trade liberalization experienced an increase in the share of informal workers in manufacturing industries. This phenomenon deserves careful examination because informal jobs are not only generally viewed as low-quality and low-paying jobs, but they also account for more than 30% of the workforce in some countries. In this paper, I examine the effects of the Brazilian trade liberalization episode (1989-2001) on the industry-level share of informal workers and on the average formal and informal wages. I find that a percentage point decrease in import tariffs increases the informality share by 0.09 percentage points and the average informal wage by 0.06%, and decreases the average formal wage by 0.05%. A similar change in foreign import tariffs decreases the informality share by 0.17 percentage points and the average informal wage by 0.34%, and increases the average formal wage by 0.32%. The results are found to be robust to endogeneity and self-selection concerns, which are addressed using instrumental variables and a switching regressions approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Paz, Lourenco, 2012. "The impacts of trade liberalization on informal labor markets: an evaluation of the Brazilian case," MPRA Paper 38858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38858
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38858/1/MPRA_paper_38858.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Antoni Estevadeordal & Caroline Freund & Emanuel Ornelas, 2008. "Does Regionalism Affect Trade Liberalization Toward Nonmembers?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1531-1575.
    2. Schmidt, Christoph M & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "Work Characteristics, Firm Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 705-710, November.
    3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Heteroskedasticity-Robust Standard Errors for Fixed Effects Panel Data Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 155-174, January.
    4. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    5. John Romalis, 2007. "NAFTA's and CUSFTA's Impact on International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 416-435, August.
    6. Ronald Davies & Lourenço Paz, 2011. "Tariffs versus VAT in the presence of heterogeneous firms and an informal sector," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(5), pages 533-554, October.
    7. Gomes, Victor & Ellery Jr., Roberto Goes, 2007. "Exports, Productivity and Firms Size in Brazil," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil), vol. 61(1), August.
    8. Baybars Karacaovali, 2011. "Productivity Matters For Trade Policy: Theory And Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 33-62, February.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo.
    10. Knud Munk, 2008. "Tax-tariff reform with costs of tax administration," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(6), pages 647-667, December.
    11. Paz, Lourenco, 2012. "The effect of trade liberalization on payroll tax evasion and labor informality," MPRA Paper 39545, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labor Market Effects of Trade Liberalization," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 10, pages 265-306, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    14. Koujianou Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "The response of the informal sector to trade liberalization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 463-496, December.
    15. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Pavcnik, Nina, 2005. "Trade, wages, and the political economy of trade protection: evidence from the Colombian trade reforms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 75-105, May.
    16. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    17. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    18. Pablo Acosta & Gabriel Montes-Rojas, 2014. "Informal Jobs and Trade Liberalisation in Argentina," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(8), pages 1104-1118, August.
    19. Pratap, Sangeeta & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "Are labor markets segmented in developing countries? A semiparametric approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1817-1841, October.
    20. Davis, Donald R. & Harrigan, James, 2011. "Good jobs, bad jobs, and trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 26-36, May.
    21. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2012. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 1-36.
    22. Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2007. "Trade, Production, and Protection Database, 1976--2004," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 165-171.
    23. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-1034, December.
    24. Svetlana Demidova & Andrés Rodríguez-Clarez, 2011. "The Simple Analytics of the Melitz Model in a Small Open Economy," NBER Working Papers 17521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Wages, Unemployment and Inequality with Heterogeneous Firms and Workers," NBER Working Papers 14122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
    27. Dominik H. Enste & Friedrich Schneider, 2000. "Shadow Economies: Size, Causes, and Consequences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 77-114, March.
    28. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    29. Harrison, Ann & Hanson, Gordon, 1999. "Who gains from trade reform? Some remaining puzzles," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 125-154, June.
    30. Nina Pavcnik & Andreas Blom & Pinelopi Goldberg & Norbert Schady, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Industry Wage Structure: Evidence from Brazil," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 319-344.
    31. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Neri, Marcelo Côrtes, 2002. "Decent work and the informal sector in Brazil," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 461, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
    33. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-2065, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Salem, Mélika Ben & Zaki, Chahir, 2019. "Revisiting the Impact of Trade Openness on Informal and Irregular Employment in Egypt," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 34(3), pages 465-497.
    2. Nihar Shembavnekar, 2015. "Tariff Liberalisation, Labour Market Flexibility and Employment: Evidence from India," Working Paper Series 8115, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    3. Mandal, Biswajit & Ghosh, Sujata, 2019. "Reformatory Policies and Factor Prices in a Developing Economy with Informal Sector," GLO Discussion Paper Series 367, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Matthew Embrey & Guillaume R. Frechette & Sevgi Yuksel, 2016. "Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma," Working Paper Series 8616, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    5. Fairris, David & Jonasson, Erik, 2016. "Determinants of Changing Informal Employment in Brazil, 2000–2010," MPRA Paper 71475, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lourenco S. Paz, 2013. "Trade liberalization and inter-industry productivity spillovers: a dynamic spatial panel approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(3), pages 2379-2393.
    7. Paz, Lourenco, 2012. "The effect of trade liberalization on payroll tax evasion and labor informality," MPRA Paper 39545, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Irène Selwaness & Chahir Zaki, 2013. "Assessing the Impact of Trade Reforms on Informality in Egypt," Working Papers 759, Economic Research Forum, revised Jun 2013.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Paz, Lourenço S., 2014. "The impacts of trade liberalization on informal labor markets: A theoretical and empirical evaluation of the Brazilian case," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 330-348.
    2. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, July.
    3. A. Kerem Co?ar & Nezih Guner & James Tybout, 2016. "Firm Dynamics, Job Turnover, and Wage Distributions in an Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 625-663, March.
    4. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    5. Becker, Dennis, 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Informality: The Effects of Trade Liberalization on Labor Markets," Working Papers 180124, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    6. Krishna, Pravin & Poole, Jennifer P. & Senses, Mine Zeynep, 2014. "Wage Effects of Trade Reform with Endogenous Worker Mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 239-252.
    7. McManus, T. Clay & Schaur, Georg, 2016. "The effects of import competition on worker health," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 160-172.
    8. Paolo Giordano & Kun Li, 2012. "An Updated Assessment of the Trade and Poverty Nexus in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 79119, Inter-American Development Bank.
    9. Araújo, Bruno César & Paz, Lourenço S., 2014. "The effects of exporting on wages: An evaluation using the 1999 Brazilian exchange rate devaluation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-16.
    10. Kondo, Illenin O., 2018. "Trade-induced displacements and local labor market adjustments in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 180-202.
    11. Yoshimichi Murakami, 2021. "Trade liberalization and wage inequality: Evidence from Chile," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 407-438, April.
    12. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Why Foreign Ownership May be Good for You," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 13, pages 381-421, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Ann Harrison & John McLaren & Margaret S. McMillan, 2010. "Recent Findings on Trade and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 16425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Stephen J. Redding, 2017. "Trade and Inequality: From Theory to Estimation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 357-405.
    15. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Fairness, Trade, and Inequality," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 12, pages 339-380, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    16. Monte, Ferdinando, 2011. "Skill bias, trade, and wage dispersion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 202-218, March.
    17. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 39-73, January.
    18. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2016. "Higher Wages in Exporting Firms: Self-selection, Export Effect, or Both? First Evidence from Linked Employer–Employee Data," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Microeconometrics of International Trade, chapter 6, pages 215-241, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    19. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "The Empirics of Firm Heterogeneity and International Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 283-313, July.
    20. Giordano, Paolo & Li, Kun, 2013. "An Updated Assessment of the Trade and Poverty Nexus in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4209, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    informal labor markets; trade liberalization; Brazil;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38858. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.