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Risk Sharing in Labour Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Arne Bigsten

    (Göteborg University)

  • Paul Collier

    (University of Oxford)

  • Stefan Dercon

    (University of Oxford)

  • Marcel Fafchamps

    (University of Oxford)

  • Jan Willem Gunning

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Abena Oduro

    (Center for Policy Analysis, Accra, Ghana)

  • Remco Oostendorp

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Cathy Pattillo

    (International Monetary Fund, Washington)

  • Mans Söderbom

    (University of Oxford)

  • Francis Teal

    (University of Oxford)

  • Albert Zeufack

    (World Bank, Washington)

Abstract

Empirical work in labour economics has focused on rent sharing as an explanation for the observed correlation in cross-sections between wages and profitability. The alternative explanation of risk sharing between workers and employers has not been tested. Using a unique panel data set for four African countries we find strong evidence of risk sharing. Workers in effect offer insurance to employers: when firms are hit by temporary shocks the effect on profits is cushioned by risk sharing with workers. Rent sharing is a symptom of an inefficient labor market. Risk sharing, however, can be seen as an efficient response to missing markets. Our evidence suggests that risk sharing accounts for a substantial part of the observed effect of shocks on wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Mans Söderbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 2003. "Risk Sharing in Labour Markets," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-077/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20030077
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    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/03077.pdf
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Mans S–derbom & Francis Teal & Albert Zeufack, 2003. "Risk Sharing in Labor Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 349-366, December.

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martins, Pedro S. & Esteves, Luiz A., 2006. "Is There Rent Sharing in Developing Countries? Matched-Panel Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 2317, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    3. Gimpelson, V. & Kapeliushnikov, R. & Lukyanova, A. & Ryzhikova, Z. & Kulyaeva, G., 2010. "Ownership and Wage Differentiation in Russia," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 5, pages 48-72.
    4. Jellal, Mohamed & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity, Market Structure and Risk Sharing in Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 5366, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Marcel Fafchamps, 2009. "Human Capital, Exports, and Earnings," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 111-141, October.
    6. Marcel Fafchampsm & Måns Söderbom, 2006. "Wages and Labor Management in African Manufacturing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
    7. Marcel Fafchamps & Mans Söderbom & Najy Benhassine, 2009. "Wage Gaps and Job Sorting in African Manufacturing," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(5), pages 824-868, November.
    8. Li, Sanxi & Sun, Hailin & Wang, Tong & Yu, Jun, 2016. "Assortative matching and risk sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 248-275.
    9. Lokshin, Michael & Gimpelson, Vladimir & Oshchepkov, Aleksey, 2012. "Explaining the Dynamics in Perceptions of Job Insecurity in Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 6422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Guimbert, Stephane & Oostendorp, Remco, 2012. "Weathering the storm : responses by Cambodian firms to the global financial crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6220, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk sharing; labor markets; rent sharing; insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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