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Research Programmes | Labour:

Labour markets in developing countries

Recent work on Labour Markets in Developing Countries

Labour markets in developing countries differ from those in richer countries in many dimensions. Our research in this area so far has focused on the causes and consequences of child labour in poor countries, education decisions, and trends in supply and demand. Current research in this area includes:
  • Social Policies and Labour Market Outcomes in Latin America and the Caribbean

    Can social policies have 'perverse' labour market effects, in particular discouraging participation and formal employment? Mariano Bosch and Marco Manacorda (2012) review the evidence on the labour market outcomes of social policies in Latin America and the Caribbean after an unprecedented surge in the number of non-contributory social assistance benefit programs in the region. They find that social assistance has no large significant effects on participation and overall employment, other than possibly among the elderly. Some particular policies are, however, generating a substitution away from formal to informal employment.

    Further reading:
    Social Policies and Labour Market Outcomes in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Review of the Existing Evidence.

  • School Proximity and Child Labour Evidence from Rural Tanzania

    How does distance from school affect child labour supply? Marco Manacorda and Florence Kondylis (2010) show that school proximity leads to a rise in school attendance but no fall in child labour. This is consistent with a simple model of child labour supply, but contrary to what appears to be a widespread perception.

    Further reading:
    School Proximity and Child Labour: Evidence from Rural Tanzania.

  • Industrial Structure and Child Labour: Evidence from the Brazilian Population Census

    How does labour demand determine child labour? Manacorda and Furio Camillo Rosati (2010) use micro data to investigate the role of changes in the industry mix in accounting for the differential trends in the incidence of child work (ages 10-15) across Brazilian states, and find that exogenous compositional changes account for around 20% of the observed fall in child employment in rural areas.

    Further reading:
    Industrial Structure and Child Labour: Evidence from the Brazilian Population Census.

  • Government Transfers and Political Support in Uruguay

    Marco Manacorda, Edward Miguel and Andrea Vigorito (2009) estimate the impact of a large anti-poverty program - the Uruguayan PANES - on political support for the government that implemented it. The program mainly consisted of a monthly cash transfer for a period of roughly two and half years. Using the discontinuity in program assignment based on a pre-treatment score, we find that beneficiary households are 21 to 28 percentage points more likely to favour the current government (relative to the previous government).

    Further reading:
    Government Transfers and Political Support - this paper was subsequently published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3, July 2011.