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Youth employment transitions in Latin America

  • Cunningham, Wendy
  • Salvagno, Javier Bustos

Using panel data from labor force surveys in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, the paper maps out young people's paths from the classroom to the work place during the 1980s through the early 2000s. By decomposing transition matrices into propensity to move and rate of separation and estimating duration matrices, the authors follow young people's movements between school and work and between employment sectors to better understand the dynamics of youth employment, including where youth go upon leaving school, how long they spend in each state, and where they go upon leaving various employment states. The main conclusion of the study is that young people across all three countries follow a similar trend over their life cycle: they leave school to spend a short time in the informal sector, move to a formal position for longer spells, and finally become self-employed. The authors find evidence of decreasing segmentation between formal and informal sectors as workers age, a lower propensity for formal sector employees to return to school than workers in the same age cohort who are not in the formal sector, and that entry to self-employment is not subject to income constraints.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5521.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5521
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  1. Gong, Xiaodong & van Soest, Arthur & Villagomez, Elizabeth, 2000. "Mobility in the Urban Labor Market: A Panel Data Analysis for Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 213, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bosch, Mariano & Maloney, William F., 2007. "Comparative Analysis of Labor Market Dynamics Using Markov Processes: An Application to Informality," IZA Discussion Papers 3038, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Cunningham, Wendy, 2009. "Unpacking youth unemployment in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5022, The World Bank.
  5. Wendy Cunningham & Linda McGinnis & Rodrigo García Verdú & Cornelia Tesliuc & Dorte Verner, 2008. "Youth at Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean : Understanding the Causes, Realizing the Potential," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6483.
  6. Daniel Egel & Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2010. "Youth Transitions To Employment And Marriage In Iran: Evidence From The School To Work Transition Survey," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 89-120.
  7. Glenda Quintini & Sébastien Martin, 2006. "Starting Well or Losing their Way?: The Position of Youth in the Labour Market in OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 39, OECD Publishing.
  8. Wendy Cunningham & Maria Laura Sanchez-Puerta & Alice Wuermli, 2010. "Active Labor Market Programs for Youth : A Framework to Guide Youth Employment Interventions," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11690, The World Bank.
  9. Manuelita Ureta & Carlos Filgueira & Naercio Aquino Menezes-Filho & Suzanne Duryea & Richard Obuchi & Lykke E. Andersen & Fernando Filgueira & Josefina Bruni Celli & Carmen Elisa Flórez & Jairo Núñez , 2003. "Critical Decisions at a Critical Age: Adolescents and Young Adults in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 42598 edited by Manuelita Ureta & Alejandra Cox Edwards & Suzanne Duryea, September.
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