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The Remains of Informality in the Formal Sector: Social Networks and Wages in Senegal's Labor Market

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  • Berardi, Nicoletta

Abstract

We develop a theoretical framework that considers the role played by moral hazard and the diversity of networks and cultures in the choice of hiring channel. Our model explains why either informal or formal hiring channels are preferred and either positive or negative wage differentials emerge for workers hired through informal channels, depending on circumstances. We show that, conditional on being employed, in favoritism contexts social networks are likely to be adopted as hiring channels for unskilled jobs and to result in wage penalties and the more so the stronger the ties, while otherwise the opposite happens. We then estimate an endogenous switching model for the case of Senegal's manufacturing formal sector and we find, consistently with our theoretical predictions in case of favoritism, that informal hiring channels are preferred to full unskilled vacancies and are associated with a wage penalty. Moreover, the probability of having been hired through a social network and the absolute value of wage penalties are increasing with the strength of ties.

Suggested Citation

  • Berardi, Nicoletta, 2009. "The Remains of Informality in the Formal Sector: Social Networks and Wages in Senegal's Labor Market," TSE Working Papers 09-129, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22252
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    Cited by:

    1. Yogo, Urbain Thierry, 2011. "Social Network and Job Quality: Evidence from Cameroon," MPRA Paper 44936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hilger, Anne & Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Sarr, Leopold, 2018. "Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills, Hiring Channels, and Wages in Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 11578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Berardi, Nicoletta & Seabright, Paul, 2011. "Professional Network and Career Coevolution," TSE Working Papers 11-258, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Catia Nicodemo & Gustavo Adolfo García, 2015. "Job Search Channels, Neighborhood Effects, and Wages Inequality in Developing Countries: The Colombian Case," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 53(2), pages 75-99, June.
    5. Rebien, Martina & Stops, Michael & Zaharieva, Anna, 2017. "Formal search and referrals from a firm's perspective," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 578, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    6. Bilyk Olga & Sheron Iuliia, 2012. "Do informal networks matter in the Ukrainian labor market?," EERC Working Paper Series 12/11e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    7. Anne Hilger & Christophe Jalil Nordman & Leopold R. Sarr, 2018. "Cognitive and non-cognitive skills, hiring channels, and wages in Bangladesh," Working Papers DT/2018/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social networks; hiring channel; wage differential;

    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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