Labor

The Impact of income and non-income shocks on child labour: Evidence from a panel survey of Tanzania

The Impact of income and non-income shocks on child labour: Evidence from a panel survey of Tanzania
World Development, Volume 67, Pages 1-534 (March 2015).

Dehejia, Rajeev
10/26/2015

This paper investigates the impact of income and non-income shocks on child labor using a model in which the household maximizes utility from consumption as well as human capital development of the child. We also investigate if access to credit and household assets act as buffers against transitory shocks. Our results indicate significant effects of agricultural shocks on the child’s overall work hours and agricultural work hours, with higher effects for boys. Crop shocks also have significant adverse effects on school attendance, with girls experiencing a more-than 70% increase in the probability of quitting schooling. The results also indicate that access to a bank account has a buffering effect on the impact of shocks on child hunger. Having a bank account reduces both male child labor and household work hours of a girl child. While assets reduce working hours of girls, we do not find it having a significant effect on boys. We also do not see assets to act as a buffer against shocks

The Link Between Manufacturing Growth and Accelerated Services Growth in India

The Link Between Manufacturing Growth and Accelerated Services Growth in India
forthcoming in Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Dehejia, Rajeev
10/26/2015

The impact of trade liberalization on manufacturing growth has been widely studied in the literature. What has gone unappreciated is that accelerated manufacturing growth has also been accompanied by accelerated services growth. Using firm-level data from India, we find a positive spillover from manufacturing growth to gross value added, wages, employment, and worker productivity in services, especially large urban firms and in service sectors whose output is used as a manufacturing input.

The Space before Action: The Role of Peer Discussion Groups in Frontline Service Provision

The Space before Action: The Role of Peer Discussion Groups in Frontline Service Provision

Goldman, Laurie and Foldy, Erica Gabrielle
10/21/2015

~Studies of street-level discretion tend to focus on what influences
workers’ behaviors and the consequences of their choices for advancing or compromising policy goals, but studies rarely focus on the space before action, that is, the processes through which workers make decisions and, in particular, how they deliberate with one another about practice problems within groups dedicated to improving social service delivery. Drawing from two qualitative studies of peer discussion groups, a study of teams of child welfare workers and a study of interorganizational groups composed of employment service workers, we find that workers in each setting grappled with similar types of problems but differed in their focus on specific clients or routine tasks, how they sought to legitimate their responses, and the extent to which their proposed solutions modified established approaches to practice. Our analysis suggests that features of the accountability contexts associated with the two policy fields help explain observed differences.

Wage cyclicality: Evidence from Spain using social security data

Wage cyclicality: Evidence from Spain using social security data
SERIEs Journal of the Spanish Economic Association (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13209-014-0111-0

Jorge De la Roca
07/28/2014

Using longitudinal social security data, this study finds evidence of weak real wage cyclicality in Spain throughout 1988–2011. The baseline estimate of a 0.4 % increase in wages in response to a one percentage point decline in the unemployment rate lies in the lower bound of available estimates for developed countries. Wage cyclicality in a rigid labour market like Spain is mainly driven by workers under temporary contracts and newly-hired workers. I calculate the cyclicality of the net present value of wages in new matches—the relevant piece of information for firms posting vacancies, but a rarely available measure—and find that it is well approximated by the cyclicality of wages for newly-hired workers.

Learning by working in big cities.

Learning by working in big cities.
Discussion Paper 9243, Centre for Economic Policy Research

De la Roca, Jorge and Diego Puga.
01/14/2014

Individual earnings are higher in bigger cities. We consider three reasons: spatial sorting of initially more productive workers, static advantages associated with workers' current location, and learning by working in big cities. Using rich administrative data for Spain, we find that workers in bigger cities do not have higher unobserved initial ability, as reflected in individual fixed-effects. Instead, they obtain an immediate static premium while working in bigger cities and also accumulate more valuable experience, which increases their earnings faster. The additional value of experience accumulated in bigger cities persists even after workers move away and is even stronger for those with higher unobserved initial ability. This combination of effects explains both the higher mean and the greater dispersion of earnings in bigger cities.

Is Micro Too Small? Microcredit vs. SME Finance

Is Micro Too Small? Microcredit vs. SME Finance
World Development 43: 288-297. 2013.

Bauchet, Jonathan and Jonathan Morduch
12/15/2013

Microcredit and SME finance are often pitched as alternative strategies to create employment opportunities in low-income communities. So far, though, little is known about how employment patterns compare. We integrate evidence from three surveys to show that, compared to Bangladeshi microcredit customers, typical SME employees in Bangladesh have more education and professional skills, and live in households that are notably less poor. SME jobs also require long work weeks, clashing with family responsibilities. The evidence from Bangladesh rejects the idea that SME finance more efficiently creates jobs for the population currently served by microcredit.

Parallel paths to enforcement: Private compliance, public regulation, and labor standards in the Brazilian sugar sector

Parallel paths to enforcement: Private compliance, public regulation, and labor standards in the Brazilian sugar sector
Politics & Society

Coslovsky, Salo and Richard Locke
09/16/2013

In recent years, global corporations and national governments have been enacting a growing number of codes of conduct and public regulations to combat dangerous and degrading work conditions in global supply chains. At the receiving end of this activity, local producers must contend with multiple regulatory regimes, but it is unclear how these regimes interact and what results, if any, they produce. This paper examines this dynamic in the sugar sector in Brazil. It finds that although private and public agents rarely communicate, let alone coordinate with one another they nevertheless reinforce each other’s actions. Public regulators use their legal powers to outlaw extreme forms of outsourcing. Private auditors use the trust they command as company insiders to instigate a process of workplace transformation that facilitates compliance. Together, their parallel actions block the low road and guide targeted firms to a higher road in which improved labor standards are not only possible but even desirable.

Economic development without pre-requisites: How Bolivian firms met food safety standards and dominated the global brazil-nut market

Economic development without pre-requisites: How Bolivian firms met food safety standards and dominated the global brazil-nut market
World Development

Coslovsky, Salo
09/16/2013

Brazilian firms used to dominate the brazil nut (BN) market to such an extent that the product still carries the country’s name. Presently, 77% of all BNs are processed and exported by Bolivia, a country with far fewer resources than its neighbor. This paper analyzes the impact of EU regulations on the global BN market. It finds that Bolivian producers prevailed because they joined forces to revamp their manufacturing practices and meet EU sanitary standards despite continued mutual mistrust. In contrast, Brazilian producers have been unable to work cooperatively and lost access to the European market entirely.

Flying under the radar? The state and the enforcement of labor laws in Brazil

Flying under the radar? The state and the enforcement of labor laws in Brazil
Oxford Development Studies

Coslovsky, Salo
09/16/2013

In recent years, developing countries have deregulated, privatized and liberalized their economies. Surprisingly, they have also retained or even strengthened their labor regulations. These contrasting policy orientations create a novel challenge without obvious solutions. To understand how developing country states can ensure reasonable levels of labor standards without compromising the ability of domestic firms to compete, this paper examines how labor inspectors and prosecutors intervened in four troublesome industries in Brazil. It finds that regulatory enforcement agents use their discretion and legal powers to realign incentives, reshape interests, and redistribute the risks, costs and benefits of compliance across a tailor-made assemblage of public, private and non-profit agents adjacent to the violations. By fulfilling this role, these agents become the foot-soldiers of a post-neoliberal or neo-developmental state.

Moroccan Migrants as Unlikely Captains of Industry: Remittances, Financial Intermediation, and La Banque Centrale Populaire

Moroccan Migrants as Unlikely Captains of Industry: Remittances, Financial Intermediation, and La Banque Centrale Populaire
In S. Eckstein, ed. Immigrant Impact in their Homelands. Durham: Duke University Press.

Iskander, N.
09/06/2013

The impact that remittances – the monies that migrants send home – have on the development on migrant-sending economies is a matter of considerable debate. This essay presents the case of Morocco and its state-controlled bank, La Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), to argue that the major determinant of remittance impact on development is the quality and breadth of financial intermediation to which migrants have access. By providing a set of financial tools that allowed migrants to deposit, save, and invest with the institution, the BCP, since 1969, simultaneously made remittances funds available the migrants for their personal expenditures and to the Moroccan government for large-scale industrial investment. However, to create financial services for migrants with an appeal broad enough to bring significant amounts of remittance liquidity into the banking sector, BCP had to engage migrants in an open and collaborative process of product design. Ultimately, this paper argues, migrants’ involvement in the design of financial products enabled them to use the banking system to redirect remittances resources to rural and semi-rural areas most migrants were from, and to amend the industrial development priorities of the Moroccan government.

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