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Enforcement of labor regulation, informal labor, and firm performance

  • Almeida, Rita
  • Carneiro, Pedro

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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3756.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3756
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  1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1994. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," NBER Working Papers 4678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Carlos Henrique Corseuil, 2004. "The Impact of Regulations on Brazilian Labor Market Performance," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 273-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Kugler, Adriana & Kugler, Maurice, 2003. "The labor market effects of payroll taxes in a middle-income country: evidence from Colombia," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0306, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  5. Maloney, William, 2003. "Informality revisited," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2965, The World Bank.
  6. Loayza, Norman A., 1997. "The economics of the informal sector : a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1727, The World Bank.
  7. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  8. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, 2003. "Regulation, productivity and growth: OECD evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 9-72, 04.
  9. Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "The Incidence of Payroll Taxation: Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 5053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  11. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-90, June.
  12. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 3260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Who must pay bribes and how much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2486, The World Bank.
  14. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, October.
  15. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
  16. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29144, The World Bank.
  17. Loayza, Norman V. & Oviedo, Ana Maria & Serven, Luis, 2005. "The impact of regulation on growth and informality - cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3623, The World Bank.
  18. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-92, May.
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