nep-iue New Economics Papers
on Informal and Underground Economics
Issue of 2021‒11‒08
five papers chosen by
Catalina Granda Carvajal
Universidad de Antioquia

  1. Education and Tax Policies in the Presence of Informality By Tkhir, Anna-Mariia
  2. Small Firms and the Pandemic: Evidence From Latin America By Christopher Neilson; Maria Guerrero; John Humphries; Naomi Shimberg; Gabriel Ulyssea
  3. The Labor Market Effects of Part-Time Contributions to Social Security: Evidence from Colombia By Brenda Samaniego de la Parra; Andrea Otero-Cortés; Leonardo Fabio Morales
  4. Supporting decent work and the transition towards formalization through technology-enhanced labour inspection international cooperation’s twenty-first century moment of truth By Gallo, Michael A.; Thinyane, Hannah.
  5. Getting Off on the Wrong Foot: The Long-Term Effects of Missing a Large-Scale Amnesty for Immigrant Workers By Claudio Deiana; Ludovica Giua; Roberto Nisticò

  1. By: Tkhir, Anna-Mariia
    JEL: I24 E26 J24
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Christopher Neilson (Princeton University); Maria Guerrero (UCLA); John Humphries (Yale University); Naomi Shimberg (Yale University); Gabriel Ulyssea (UCL)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses between March and November 2020 using new survey data on 35,000 small businesses in eight Latin American countries. We document that the pandemic had large negative impacts on employment and beliefs regarding the future, which in turn predict meaningful economic outcomes in the medium-term. Despite the unprecedented amount of aid, policies had limited impact for small and informal firms. These ï¬ rms were less aware of programs, applied less, and received less assistance. This may have lasting consequences, as businesses that received aid reported better outcomes and expectations about the future.
    Keywords: COVID-19, small business, Latin America
    JEL: I10 D22
    Date: 2021–10
  3. By: Brenda Samaniego de la Parra; Andrea Otero-Cortés; Leonardo Fabio Morales
    Abstract: In 2014, Colombia implemented a policy that added flexibilization to labor contracts for part-time workers that reduced the quasi-fixed costs of employing formal workers. We find that the reform increased the probability of entering the formal sector within the targeted population: low-wage, part-time workers. We use administrative employer-employee matched data and leverage variation across cities and industries in demand for part-time work before the reform. We find that, after the tax reform, the change in the total number of formal workers is 6 percentage points higher at firms that use the new contracts relative to their counterparts that choose not to hire low-wage, formal, part-time workers under the new tax form. Mean daily wages temporarily declined after the reform.. **** RESUMEN: En 2014, Colombia implementó una reforma que flexibilizó la contratación de trabajadores formales de tiempo parcial a través de la reducción de los costos cuasi-fijos de contratación formal. Este documento estima los efectos sobre el empleo y los salarios de este cambio en la legislación laboral. Nuestros resultados muestran que la reforma incrementó la probabilidad de ingresar al sector formal dentro de la población objetivo: trabajadores de bajos ingresos laborales y de tiempo parcial. Para la estimación empírica, usamos datos administrativos de aportes a seguridad social (PILA) que nos permiten seguir en el tiempo a empleadores y empleados y una estrategia de identificación que explota la variación entre ciudades e industrias en la demanda por trabajo de tiempo parcial antes de la reforma. Encontramos que después de implementada la reforma, el empleo formal creció, en promedio, 6 puntos porcentuales más en las firmas que usaron el nuevo tipo de contrato de tiempo parcial en comparación con las firmas que no lo usaron. Los salarios diarios medios disminuyeron temporalmente después de la reforma.
    Keywords: Labor informality, tax policy, part-time work, labor demand, non-wage labor costs, informalidad laboral, política tributaria, empleo de tiempo parcial, demanda laboral, costos no salariales de contratación
    JEL: J23 J24 J32 J46
    Date: 2021–10
  4. By: Gallo, Michael A.; Thinyane, Hannah.
    Abstract: The development and expansion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has had far-reach- ing consequences for governance and the world of work, including how labour administrations and inspec- torates manage and deliver services. Labour inspection is an essential part of labour administration and ensures the enforcement of worker’s rights and compliance with relevant legal obligations. As such, labour inspection is one of the many different pathways available for reducing informality through inspectorates’ mandated information sharing and sanctioning activities.An increasing number of governments around the world are interested in exploring, promoting and unlock- ing the full potential of new technologies to facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy. Research and evidence on effective strategies, programs, and practical applications of ICTs in this area to date is limited and policymakers stand to benefit from a greater understanding of what works in addressing informality through technology. In this working paper, we broadly explore the relationship and intersection between labour inspection, technology, and formalization and provide a detailed case study of Apprise, an innovative mobile solution that was developed to assist inspectors and other frontline responders in their preliminary screening of workers for indicators of labour violations and exploitation. Although additional impact evaluation studies are necessary, the study concludes that technology-enhanced labour inspection shows promise as a central component of integrated strategies targeting reductions in informality.
    Keywords: labour inspection, information technology, informal economy, decent work, case study
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Claudio Deiana (Università di Cagliari and University of Essex); Ludovica Giua (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)); Roberto Nisticò (Università di Napoli Federico II, CSEF and IZA)
    Abstract: We estimate the long-run effects of ineligibility for legalization on immigrants' formal employment and assimilation at work. Our empirical approach exploits the exogenous change in probability of obtaining legal status induced by a 2002 Italian amnesty program targeting irregular foreign workers. We show that immigrants unexposed to the amnesty have a 15% lower probability of being regularly employed a decade later than their counterparts. They also experience a deterioration in their working conditions in the long run, with increases in job immobility and segregation, and a decline in linguistic assimilation.
    Keywords: Undocumented immigrants, Amnesty program, Formal employment, Discrimination, Segregation.
    JEL: J15 J61 K37
    Date: 2021–09–30

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