|RELATED TOPICS:||Poverty Reduction and Labor|
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Over the last two decades Mexico has had an open trade regime, experienced macroeconomic stability, and made substantial progress in education. However, average workers’ earnings have stagnated and earnings for workers with more schooling have declined, compressing the earnings distribution and lowering the returns to education. We hypothesize that these developments are explained by large and persistent of distortions that misallocate resources towards less productive firms, since these firms are substantially less intensive in educated workers than more productive ones. We show that at the same time that the relative supply of workers with more years of schooling has increased, misallocation of resources toward less productive firms has persisted. These two trends have generated a widening mismatch between the supply and demand for educated workers. We decompose worker earnings into observable and unobservable firm and individual worker characteristics, and simulate a counterfactual earnings distribution in the absence of misallocation. Under the counterfactual, earnings differentials across schooling levels would increase, as would the returns to education. In parallel, earnings differentials, rather than narrowing overtime, would widen. We conclude arguing that the persistence of distortions that misallocate resources toward lower-productivity firms impedes Mexico from taking full advantage of its investments in the human capital of its workers.
The Research Department is pleased to present the latest edition of its newsletter, Ideas for Development in the Americas (IDEA). This issue is based on the IDB's 2004 report on Economic and Social Progress in Latin America, which focuses on the problems surrounding people and their jobs. The report presents an anatomy of Latin American labor markets, a diagnosis of their ills, and prescriptions f ... (View publication)
This paper develops a search and matching model where rms and workers are allowed to form matches (jobs) that can be formal or informal. Workers optimally choose the level of schooling acquired before entering the labor market and whether to search for a job as unemployed or as self-employed. Firms optimally decide the formality status of the job and bargain with workers over wages. The resul ... (View publication)
This report is devoted to the social impact of the crisis and focuses on its effects on employment, nutrition, education, and poverty. It identifes the mechanisms by which the crisis can affect these critical social dimensions, and discusses possible policy responses given each country's circumstances, fiscal space and administrative capabilities. The social challenge generated by the crisis is no ... (View publication)
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