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Labor market transitions and social security in Colombia

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  • Cuesta, Jose
  • Bohorquez, Camilo

Abstract

This paper quantifies the magnitude of transitions across occupational categories in Colombia, a country with high unemployment and informality but quickly increasing its social security coverage for health. The analysis makes use of a panel of households between 2008 and 2009, representative of the main metropolitan areas in the country. Results confirm previous evidence found in Colombia and elsewhere in the region that transitions between occupations are large and asymmetric: they are disproportionally more likely to happen from formal to informal occupations than vice versa. The paper finds for the first time that such transitions are also different for salaried workers compared with the self-employed, as well as by poverty status of the worker. Salaried workers are more likely to transition first into other salaried jobs, while self-employed are more likely to transition into unemployment or out of the labor force. There are marked differences in the profiles of transitioning and non-transitioning workers, both in terms of socioeconomic characteristics and social security coverage. Causal analysis shows that affiliation to social security on health deters occupational transitions, while pension insurance does not. Hence, high-volume transitions may not be crisis-specific phenomena, but rather associated with contributive and non-contributive social security mechanisms that incentivize informality, and workers'preferences for informal jobs. The debate on labor market and social security reforms needs to take these features of transitions into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Cuesta, Jose & Bohorquez, Camilo, 2011. "Labor market transitions and social security in Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5650, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5650
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carmen Pagés & Marco Stampini, 2007. "No Education, No Good Jobs?: Evidence on the Relationship Between Education and Labor Market Segmentation," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1096, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Pagés, Carmen & Stampini, Marco, 2009. "No education, no good jobs? Evidence on the relationship between education and labor market segmentation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 387-401, September.
    3. Alejandro Gaviria, 2004. "Ley 789 De 2002: ¿Funcionó O No?," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003140, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    4. Jose Cuesta & Hugo Ñopo & Georgina Pizzolitto, 2011. "Using Pseudo‐Panels To Measure Income Mobility In Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(2), pages 224-246, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cilasun, Seyit Mumin & Acar, Elif Oznur & Gunalp, Burak, 2015. "The Effects of Labor Market Reforms on the Labor Market Dynamics in Turkey," MPRA Paper 64767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hamadi Matoussi & Faten Zoghlami, 2007. "Momentum in Emerging Markets: Investigation of Overconfidence and Cognitive BIAS Factors," Working Papers 717, Economic Research Forum, revised 04 Jan 2007.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Markets; Labor Policies; Population Policies; Labor Standards; Work&Working Conditions;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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