خود اشتغالی رسمی و نوسانات اقتصاد کلان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16933||2010||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Development Economics, Volume 91, Issue 2, March 2010, Pages 211–226
Informal self-employment is a major source of employment in developing countries. Its cyclical behavior is important to our understanding of the functioning of LDC labor markets, but turns out to be surprisingly complex. We develop a flexible model with two sectors: a formal salaried (tradable) sector that may be affected by wage rigidities, and an informal (non tradable) self-employment sector faced with liquidity constraints to entry. This labor market is then embedded in a standard small economy macro model. We show that different types of shocks interact with different institutional contexts to produce distinct patterns of comovement between key variables of the model: relative salaried/self-employed incomes, relative salaried/self-employed sector sizes and the real exchange rate. Model predictions are then tested empirically for Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. We confirm episodes where the expansion of informal self-employment is consistent with the traditional segmentation views of informality. However, we also identify episodes where informal self-employment behaves “pro-cyclically”; here, informality is driven by relative demand or productivity shocks to the non tradable sector.
This paper examines the adjustment of informal self-employment, a major component of developing country labor markets, to macroeconomic shocks. It models both the decisions and credit constraints facing heterogeneous workers to enter self-employment, as well as standard labor market rigidities potentially found as impediments to entering the formal sector. Taking advantage of the fact that the vast majority of informal self-employed are found in the non tradable sectors, and most formal in the tradable sector, it then locates this labor market in a standard two sector open economy model. Together, this permits the development of a typology of movements of relative labor shares, relative incomes and the real exchange rate with respect to different sectoral shocks that underlie aggregate business cycles, and degrees of labor market rigidity. Such an approach is valuable for several reasons. First, the model offers insights into the reasons behind the multiple and shifting patterns of comovement (regimes) of an important component of the informal sector with macroeconomic fluctuations. In particular, it offers an explanation for observed episodes of procyclicality of self-employment which run counter to all existing models of the informal sector. The rationale underlying these procyclical movements adds support to an emerging view of informal self-employment that stresses a large voluntary component of entry and hence the desirability of the sector for many workers. However, the model is also general enough to allow for varying degrees of involuntary entry driven by conventional segmentation considerations. In this sense, we offer a very rich and flexible view of the developing country labor market. Second, the derived typology of regimes can be used by analysts and policy makers empirically to exploit the observed comovements of macroeconomic time series for diagnostic purposes: to establish the presence or absence of formal sector segmenting distortions; or to identify the sources of changes in the size of the informal sector. Finally, the framework is flexible enough to incorporate more secular issues of regulation and taxation, and growth that are also relevant to explaining the size of the informal self-employed sector. 1.1. Background We focus on self-employment, defined in the present case as own account workers as well as owners of firms with under five employees for several reasons. First, in Latin America, the sector accounts for 25 to 50% of employment and in other poorer regions, like Africa, substantially more. Understanding the behavior and raison d'être of the sector is of clear importance. Second, in the countries we study, the self-employed or micro firm sector is the heart of the informal sector. It has been a longstanding proxy for informality by International Labor Organization and it is highly correlated with informality measured as being unprotected by social and labor protections: In Argentina 75%, Brazil 61%, and Mexico 77% of uncovered workers are found in firms of five or fewer workers and most of these in single person firms, that is, the self-employed. Further, the share of workers that are informal in these firms is over 80%. The debate over the role of the informal goes back almost half a century. A prominent stream of the literature has intellectual roots perhaps best distilled in Harris and Todaro's (1970) vision of markets segmented by wage setting in the formal sector that leaves the traditional sector rationed out of modern salaried employment.1 The view of the informal sector as the inferior segment of a dual labor market, expanding during downturns to absorb increased unemployment, became highly influential in the International Labor Organization, its Latin America affiliate, the Latin America Regional Employment Program (PREALC), and the World Bank.2 However, dating at least from Hart's (1973) work in Africa, a parallel stream has stressed the sector's dynamism and the likely voluntary nature of much of the entry into informal self-employment.3 Increasingly, theoretical discussions of the sector assume mainstream models of worker sectoral selection, and the firm.4 Still, two of these papers derive and present evidence for the countercyclicality of informality (Loayza and Rigolini, 2006) or a correlation of informality with unemployment (Boeri and Garibaldi, 2006), consistent with the earlier literature. Were it the focus of his paper, Rauch's formalization of this more traditional model of markets segmented, in this case, by a minimum wage would generate a similar pattern. However, greater disaggregation of the data suggests more complex patterns of movement of self informal employment across macroeconomic fluctuations. In particular, in several country-episodes we study, self-employment appears to be procyclical. As an example, a first look at time series for Mexico suggests cyclical behavior distinct from that of a shock absorber during downturns. Fig. 1a plots the evolution of the relative salaried/informal self-employed sector sizes and GDP growth and shows that during the recovery of 1987–1991 they were negatively correlated. Fig. 1b further shows that across this same period, the earnings of the self-employed relative to formal salaried workers rose. Both are consistent with a procylical expansion of self-employment. Since over 80% of self-employed are found in domestic services, transportation, commerce, or construction, we argue that that the boom in real estate and other non-tradable industries across this period created new opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs. Contrarily, it is also the case that in the subsequent period leading up to the crisis of 1995, the countercyclical movements envisaged by more traditional segmentation views appear, manifested as a positive comovement relative salaried/informal self-employed sector sizes and GDP growth (Fig. 1a) , as well as a negative comovement of earnings and labor market sector sizes (Fig. 1b). Similar structural shifts in the relationship between self-employment and growth are visible across the other countries shown in Fig. 1a and b.We argue that these distinct and changing patterns suggest that the pro- or countercyclicality of the two labor market sectors may depend on the sectoral origin of the shocks, and the presence or absence of binding wage rigidities. That is, a conventional focus on the correlation between self-employment and GDP in the aggregate may conceal important patterns of comovement and hence muddy our understanding of the raison d'être and dynamics of the informal self-employed. The existence of different regimes with distinct identifying patterns of comovement among a few variables also suggests that time series data on these series may offer potentially useful labor market diagnostics for policy makers, for instance, in identifying the roots of expansion of the informal sector across a given period: That is, it could shed light on whether it is due to more onerous union or legislation induced rigidities that may require politically costly reforms to offset, or alternatively a construction boom, or simply a slowdown of the formal manufacturing sector that would not. Studying the relationship among three variables easily extracted from repeated cross sections and financial data can offer a wealth of insight into the underlying operation of the labor market that has not been previously possible. It also provides an alternative to the conditional income comparisons commonly used to demonstrate the inferiority of informal work, which are rendered highly suspect by their inability to control for unobserved job and individual effects.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has offered a framework through which to study self-employment across macroeconomic fluctuations. We model a two-sector labor market in an Obstfeld–Rogoff small economy model to include heterogeneous entrepreneurial ability and credit constraints to entering informal self-employment. This allows us to generate a set of hypotheses about the comovement of relative sector sizes and earnings and sectoral shocks as captured by the real exchange rate. These patterns of comovement are then tested in a co-integration framework in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Three important general findings emerge. First, we find examples of all the co-integration vectors suggested by theory suggesting that attention to country and period context is important to approaching the informal sector. In particular, and second, although the informal self-employed and formal salaried sectors often appear as elements of segmented or dual labor markets as customarily envisaged, we also find numerous episodes where they appear as one integrated labor market: numerous periods show strong comovement between relative sector sizes and earnings. This suggests that a large component of the informal sector should not be viewed as somehow inferior or queuing for formal sector employment. However, it is also the case that rigidities in the formal salaried sector can become very binding, as is most clearly the case in the dramatic crises that affected all four countries at some period, and apparently in Argentina across the entire sample. Third, these distinct patterns suggest that the pro or countercyclicality of the sectors may depend on the sectoral origin of the shocks, and the presence of binding wage rigidities. We find numerous examples where either a positive productivity or demand shock to the non tradable/informal sector leads to its expansion.