Self Employment in Developing Countries: a Search-Equilibrium Approach
Self employment comprises around thirty percent of the workforce in Latin America. Most self employed evade payroll taxes, have low education, and run small businesses requiring low skills. I develop and estimate a life cycle search model where workers can be wage earners in the formal or informal sector, self employed or unemployed. Firms in the formal sector pay payroll and severance taxes, and in the informal sector, they can be fined. The estimated model (i) reproduces well the composition of workers over the life cycle as observed in Brazilian Labour Force data, and (ii) shows that the job value of the self employed is similar to that of informal wage earners. The model is used as a tool to evaluate the welfare impact of labour market policies, where self employment may be an option. When simulating an increase in the cost of informality by ten percent, results showed (i) small impact on employment composition and informality; (ii) significant cost pass-through to wages in the informal sector, meaning a reduction in the lowest wages in the economy, hence higher wage inequality. On the other hand, (iii) it led to substantial improvement in the welfare of formal firms and of all workers. These results prove that taking into account labour market frictions is important in welfare analyses of policies in multisectoral labour markets. As simulations which increase the cost of informality suggest, stricter enforcement of labour regulations (at least to a certain degree) can be a way towards efficient labor markets.
|Date of creation:||28 Nov 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.fea.usp.br/feaecon/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rita Almeida & Pedro Carneiro, Renata Narita, 2013. "Producing Higher Quality Jobs: Enforcement of Mandated Benefits across Brazilian Cities between 1996-2007," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2013_22, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993.
"Sticking it Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints,"
NBER Working Papers
4494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey Rosen, 1993. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Working Papers 698, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Erik Hurst & Geng Li & Benjamin Pugsley, 2010.
"Are Household Surveys Like Tax Forms: Evidence from Income Underreporting of the Self Employed,"
NBER Working Papers
16527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Erik Hurst & Geng Li & Benjamin Pugsley, 2014. "Are Household Surveys Like Tax Forms? Evidence from Income Underreporting of the Self-Employed," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 19-33, March.
- Erik Hurst & Geng Li & Benjamin Pugsley, 2011. "Are household surveys like tax forms: evidence from income underreporting of the self-employed," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Melvyn Coles & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Ken Burdett, 2008.
"Human Capital Accumulation and Labor Market Equilibrium,"
2008 Meeting Papers
1088, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Kenneth Burdett & Carlos Carrillo‐Tudela & Melvyn G. Coles, 2011. "Human Capital Accumulation And Labor Market Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 657-677, 08.
- Burdett, Ken & Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Coles, Melvyn, 2009. "Human Capital Accumulation and Labour Market Equilibrium," IZA Discussion Papers 4215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
- James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2008.
"The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector,"
ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers
inv208, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
- James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2009. "The Effects of Labour Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1105-1129, 07.
- James Albrecht & Lucas Navarro & Susan Vroman, 2006. "The Effects of Labor Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," Working Papers gueconwpa~06-06-06, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- Albrecht, James & Navarro, Lucas & Vroman, Susan, 2006. "The Effects of Labor Market Policies in an Economy with an Informal Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2141, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
- Christian Bontemps & Jean-Marc Robin & Gérard J. Van den Berg, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," Post-Print hal-00357755, HAL.
- Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
- Gadi Barlevy, 2008. "Identification of Search Models using Record Statistics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 29-64.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spa:wpaper:2013wpecon21. 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: (Pedro Garcia Duarte)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.