IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Exchange rate appreciations, labor market rigidities, and informality

  • Fugazza, Marco
  • Fiess, Norbert M.
  • Maloney, William

This paper works at the interface of the literature exploring the raison d'etre of the informal labor market and that explaining the real exchange rate appreciations occurring in many Latin American countries during periods of reform. The authors first build a small country-Australian style model where the informal sector is seen as an unregulated non-tradables sector, augmented by heterogeneity in entrepreneurial ability and capital adjustment costs. They then examine the behavior of the model with and without a formal sector rigidity. It shows that the co-movements of relative formal/informal incomes, formal/informal sector size, and the real exchange rate can offer insight into the level of distortion in the labor market and the source of exchange rate fluctuations. The paper then explores time series data from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico using multivariate co-integration techniques to establish what"regime"each country is in at various periods of time. Mexico appears to be relatively undistorted and the 1987-92 appreciation appears to be largely a function of a boom in the non-tradables sector rather than wage inertia. In spite of a secular expansion of the informal sector there is little evidence of dualism or of a rigidity driven appreciation of the Real, from 1993-1996. Post 1995 Colombia corresponds to a classic segmented labor market and an appreciation partly driven by labor market rigidities. Graphical analysis suggests that neither the Argentine appreciation (1988-1992) or the celebrated Chilean appreciation (1975-1982) were driven by inertial forces

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2771.

in new window

Date of creation: 07 Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2771
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Edwards, Sebastian, 1996. "Exchange-Rate Anchors, Credibility, and Inertia: A Tale of Two Crises, Chile and Mexico," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 176-80, May.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1994. "Stabilization dynamics and backward-looking contracts," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 59-84, February.
  3. HAMILTON, Jonathan & THISSE, Jacques-François & ZENOU, Yves, . "Wage competition with heterogeneous workers and firms," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1463, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Rebelo, S. & Vegh, C.A., 1995. "Real Effects of Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization: An Analysis of Competing Theories," RCER Working Papers 405, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Enrique G. Mendoza & Martin Uribe, 1996. "The syndrome of exchange-rate-based stabilizations and the uncertain duration of currency pegs," International Finance Discussion Papers 548, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Conley, John P. & Maloney, William F., 1995. "Optimal sequencing of credible reforms with uncertain outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 151-166, October.
  7. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Lai, Kon S, 1993. "Finite-Sample Sizes of Johansen's Likelihood Ration Tests for Conintegration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(3), pages 313-28, August.
  8. Joshua Aizenman & Jacob A. Frenkel, 1986. "Sectorial Wages and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 1801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1994. "Identification of the long-run and the short-run structure an application to the ISLM model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 7-36, July.
  10. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  11. Sebastian Edwards & Alejandra Cox Edwards, 2000. "Economic Reforms and Labor Markets: Policy Issues and Lessons from Chile," NBER Working Papers 7646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. De Gregorio, Jose & Guidotti, Pablo E & Vegh, Carlos A, 1998. "Inflation Stabilisation and the Consumption of Durable Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 105-31, January.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Assaf Razin, 1985. "Exchange Rate Management: Intertemporal Tradoffs," NBER Working Papers 1590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
  15. Guillermo Calvo & Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 1991. "Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization under Imperfect Credibility," IMF Working Papers 91/77, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Joshua Aizenman & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1994. "Macroeconomic Adjustment with Segmented Labor Markets," IMF Working Papers 94/56, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1982. "Stabilization policies in developing countries: What have we learned?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(9), pages 701-708, September.
  18. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1982. "Towards an Explanation of National Price Levels," NBER Working Papers 1034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Rudiger Dornbusch & Alejandro Werner, 1994. "Mexico: Stabilization, Reform, and No Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 253-316.
  20. Martin Uribe, 1995. "Exchange-rate based inflation stabilization: the initial real effects of credible plans," International Finance Discussion Papers 503, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Roldos, Jorge E, 1997. "On gradual disinflation, the real exchange rate, and the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 37-54, February.
  22. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1982. "The Argentine stabilization plan of December 20th," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(9), pages 801-811, September.
  23. Johansen, Søren & Juselius, Katarina, 1992. "Testing structural hypotheses in a multivariate cointegration analysis of the PPP and the UIP for UK," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 211-244.
  24. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2771. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.