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Who Suffers the Penalty? A Panel Data Analysis of Earnings Gaps in Vietnam

  • Nordman, Christophe J.
  • Nguyen, Huu Chi
  • Roubaud, François

In spite of its predominant economic weight in developing countries, little is known about informal sector income dynamics vis-à-vis the formal sector. Some works have been done in this field using household surveys, but they only consider some emerging Latin American countries and a few African countries. As a matter of consequence, there is still no way to generalize the (diverging) results to other part of the developing world. Taking advantage of the rich VHLSS dataset in Vietnam, in particular its three waves panel data (2002, 2004, 2006), we assess the magnitude of various formal/informal earnings gaps while addressing heterogeneity issues at three different levels: the worker, the job (wage employment vs. selfemployment) and the earnings distribution.We estimate fixed effects and quantile regressions to control for unobserved individual characteristics. Our results suggest that the informal sector earnings gap highly depends on the workers' job status and on their relative position in the earnings distribution. Penalties may in some cases turn into premiums. By comparing our results with studies in other developing countries, we draw conclusions highlighting the Vietnam's labour market specificity.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 60.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:60
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  1. Jean-Pierre Cling & Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud, 2012. "Explanatory factors behind formalizing non-farm household businesses in Vietnam," Working Papers DT/2012/20, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  2. Matteo Migheli, 2011. "Do the Vietnamese Support the Economic Doi Moi ?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 939-968, September.
  3. Bargain, Olivier & Kwenda, Prudence, 2010. "Is Informality Bad? Evidence from Brazil, Mexico and South Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 4711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. McKenzie, David & Sakho, Yaye Seynabou, 2007. "Does It Pay Firms to Register for Taxes? The Impact of Formality on Firm Profitability," IZA Discussion Papers 3179, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Robilliard, Anne-Sophie & Roubaud, François, 2011. "Gender and Ethnic Earnings Gaps in Seven West African Cities," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4305, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. Jean-Pierre Cling & Mireille Razafindrakoto & Francois Roubaud, 2010. "Assessing the Potential Impact of the Global Crisis on the Labour Market and the Informal Sector in Vietnam," Working Papers 05, Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), Vietnam.
  7. Clément Imbert, 2011. "Decomposing wage inequality: Public and private sectors in Vietnam 1993-2006," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564653, HAL.
  8. Strobl, Eric & Thornton, Robert, 2002. "Do Large Employers Pay More in Developing Countries? The Case of Five African Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Christophe J. Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2009. "Gender differences in pay in African manufacturing firms," Working Papers hal-00421227, HAL.
  10. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10658 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  12. Paolo Falco & Andrew Kerr & Neil Rankin & Justin Sandefur & Francis Teal, 2010. "The Returns to formality and Informality in Urban Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  13. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  14. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis & Wambugu, Anthony, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity and the relation between earnings and firm size: evidence from two developing countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 153-159, May.
  15. Bocquier, Philippe & Nordman, Christophe J. & Vescovo, Aude, 2010. "Employment Vulnerability and Earnings in Urban West Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1297-1314, September.
  16. Rand, John & Torm, Nina, 2012. "The Benefits of Formalization: Evidence from Vietnamese Manufacturing SMEs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 983-998.
  17. Maloney, William, 2003. "Informality revisited," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2965, The World Bank.
  18. Jean-Pierre Cling & Mohamed Ali Marouani & Mireille Razafindrakoto & Anne-Sophie Robilliard & Francois Roubaud, 2009. "The Distributive Impact of Vietnam's Accession to the WTO," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 118, pages 43-71.
  19. Ivan A. Canay, 2011. "A simple approach to quantile regression for panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 368-386, October.
  20. 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).
  21. 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.
  22. Fernández, Rosa M. & Nordman, Christophe J., 2009. "Are there pecuniary compensations for working conditions?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 194-207, April.
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