nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2023‒08‒14
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Weberian Civil Service and Labor Enforcement By Dewey, Matías; Ronconi, Lucas
  2. The paradox of the contented female worker in Colombia By María Esperanza Cuenca Coral.; Adolfo C. Fernández Puente.; Juan Ricardo Perilla-Jiménez.

  1. By: Dewey, Matías (University of St. Gallen); Ronconi, Lucas (University of Buenos Aires)
    Abstract: Most workers in the developing world do not receive the benefits they are legally entitled to. Why, then, is there so little public enforcement? This paper argues that this is partly because of a lack of an autonomous and professional bureaucracy. Using a novel dataset with objective measures of labor inspections and fines across countries, we show that Weberian bureaucracies are more likely to enforce labor standards. We provide OLS and 2SLS estimates that address endogeneity concerns and use ethnographic evidence collected in Latin America to understand the mechanisms better. The case study suggests that politicized bureaucracies underinvest in labor inspection because elected officials have short-term horizons and do not internalize the social benefits of enforcement (such as formal job creation and enhancement of the rule of law) because they take time to materialize.
    Keywords: enforcement, autonomy, compliance, state-capture, labor
    JEL: J88 K42 O17 P50
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: María Esperanza Cuenca Coral.; Adolfo C. Fernández Puente.; Juan Ricardo Perilla-Jiménez.
    Abstract: Using data from the Colombian Great Integrated Household Survey 2021, we explore whether the paradox of the contented female worker, prominent in the specialized literature, arises in the Colombian labor market. Controlling for self - selection bias that are typical in job market discrimination settings, we find supporting evidence of the paradox. We also find supporting evidence to the hypothesis of gender differences in utility functions and adaptive expectations of female workers to their more severe working conditions. Our research implies the need for public policy initiatives focused on both workers well-being and gender equality. Keywords: Gender Economics, Labor Discrimination, Labor Market Equality, Working Conditions, JEL: J16, J710, J810.
    Date: 2023–07–24

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