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Enforcement of labor regulation, informal labor, and firm performance

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  • Almeida, Rita
  • Carneiro, Pedro

Abstract

This paper investigates how enforcement of labor regulation affects the firm's use of informal employment and its impact on firm performance. Using firm level data on informal employment and firm performance, and administrative data on enforcement of regulation at the city level, the authors show that in areas where law enforcement is stricter firms employ a smaller amount of informal employment. Furthermore, by reducing the firm's access to unregulated labor, stricter enforcement also decreases average wages, productivity, and investment. The results are robust to several specification changes, and to instrumenting enforcement with (1) measures of access of labor inspectors to firms, and (2) measures of general law enforcement in the area where the firm is located.

Suggested Citation

  • Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2005. "Enforcement of labor regulation, informal labor, and firm performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3756, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3756
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    Cited by:

    1. Soundararajan, Vidhya, 2019. "Heterogeneous effects of imperfectly enforced minimum wages in low-wage labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 355-374.
    2. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2007. "The Informal Sector, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-018, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 21 May 2008.
    3. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2006. "The Informal Sector," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001030, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Galiani, Sebastian & Meléndez, Marcela & Ahumada, Camila Navajas, 2017. "On the effect of the costs of operating formally: New experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 143-157.
    5. World Bank, 2009. "Increasing Formality and Productivity of Bolivian Firms," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2675, November.
    6. Martins, Pedro S. & Esteves, Luiz A., 2006. "Is There Rent Sharing in Developing Countries? Matched-Panel Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 2317, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Aalia Cassim & Kezia Lilenstein & Morné Oosthuizen & Francois Steenkamp, 2016. "Informality and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201602, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    8. Bosch, Mariano & Esteban-Pretel, Julen, 2012. "Job creation and job destruction in the presence of informal markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 270-286.
    9. Araujo, Ricardo Azevedo & de Souza, Nathalia Almeida, 2010. "An evolutionary game theory approach to the dynamics of the labour market: A formal and informal perspective," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 101-110, May.
    10. Erol Taymaz, 2009. "Informality and Productivity: Productivity Differentials between Formal and Informal Firms in Turkey," ERC Working Papers 0901, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Mar 2009.
    11. Gallagher, Mary & Giles, John & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2013. "China's 2008 labor contract law : implementation and implications for China's workers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6542, The World Bank.
    12. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Maloney, William F. & Montes-Rojas, Gabriel V., 2009. "Does Formality Improve Micro-Firm Performance? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Brazilian SIMPLES Program," IZA Discussion Papers 4531, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Frank Stephen & David Urbano & Stefan Hemmen, 2009. "The responsiveness of entrepreneurs to working time regulations," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 259-276, March.
    14. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Maloney, William F. & Montes-Rojas, Gabriel V., 2011. "Does formality improve micro-firm performance? Evidence from the Brazilian SIMPLES program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 262-276, March.
    15. Sangheon Lee & Deirdre McCann & Nina Torm, 2008. "The World Bank's “Employing Workers” index: Findings and critiques – A review of recent evidence," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 147(4), pages 416-432, December.
    16. Gustavo Adolfo García, 2010. "Evolución de la informalidad laboral en Colombia: determinantes macro y efectos locales," Archivos de Economía 006449, Departamento Nacional de Planeación.
    17. Áureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2010. "Value-Added Taxes, Chain Effects, and Informality," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 195-221, October.
    18. Bonaventura, Luigi & Orlando, Danilo, 2007. "Enforcement of Regulation, Irregular Sector, and Firm Performance," MPRA Paper 14686, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Gatti, Roberta & Honorati, Maddalena, 2007. "Informality among Formal Firms: Firm-level, Cross-country Evidence on Tax Compliance and Access to Credit," CEPR Discussion Papers 6597, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Gudibande, Rohan Ravindra & Jacob, Arun, 2020. "Minimum wages for domestic workers: impact evaluation of the Indian experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    21. Aureo de Paula & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2009. "“Value Added Taxes, Chain Effects and Informality†, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-041, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 09 Nov 2009.

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    Keywords

    Labor Markets; Work&Working Conditions; Labor Standards; Municipal Financial Management; Labor Management and Relations;
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