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Informal Employment in a Growing and Globalising Low-Income Country


We document several facts about workforce transitions from the informal to the formal sector in Vietnam, a fast growing, industrialising, and low-income country. First, younger workers, particularly migrants, are more likely to work in the formal ...

New Export Opportunities and Firm Performance in the Presence of a Large State Sector


We investigate the impacts of new export opportunities on manufacturing firm performance in the presence of a large state-owned sector in a low-income country, Vietnam. We find that reductions in U.S. tariffs applied on imports from Vietnam, as ma...

Out with the Old and Unproductive, in with the New and Similarly Unproductive: Microenterprise Dynamics in a Growing Low-Income Economy


Non-farm microenterprises employ a large share of the overall and non-agricultural workforce in low-income counties. Yet, the lack of large-scale, nationally representative data on microenterprises often precludes a systematic study of their busin...

How Complete Are Labour Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Panel Data in Four Countries


We develop and implement new tests for the completeness of rural labour markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our approach builds on the seminal work of Benjamin (1992), which uses consumer-producer households as a window into the functioning of rural ma...

Household Perceptions of Labour Market Conditions in Malawi and Tanzania


In this paper we document and analyse the findings from new qualitative research into individuals’ perceptions of labour market function and their places within labour markets. Our findings are based on focus group discussions and informal i...

Allocative Efficiency of Non-farm Enterprises in Agricultural Households: Evidence from Malawi


According to standard economic theory, households will equate marginal revenue products of inputs across different activities within the household. We test this prediction using data on agricultural plots and non-farm enterprises in Malawi. Specif...

Curse of Anonymity or Tyranny of Distance? The Impacts of Job-Search Support in Urban Ethiopia


We conduct a randomised evaluation of two job-search support programmes for urban youth in Ethiopia. One group of treated respondents receives a subsidy to cover the transport costs of job search. Another group participates in a job application wo...

Creating Formal Sector Jobs in Low-Income Countries


Difficulty in finding employment in the formal sector is commonplace in low-income countries, where informal businesses employ a large share of the workforce and provide livelihoods for the poor. Theory suggests that informal sector workers might ...

How Well Are Rural Labor Markets Working in Sub-Saharan Africa


More information will be provided. Click here for a brief introduction of the project.

Do Households in Malawi Use Labor Efficiently?


This paper explores whether households in Malawi are allocating their labor optimally between farm and non-farm activities. If households are not, they could theoretically increase their incomes by changing how they allocate their time, which woul...

For Richer, for Poorer


This piece focuses on the effects of international trade on inequality within developing countries.  The effects of trade on inequality within a country are complex, as trade influences people’s earnings and consumption in several ways,...

Informal Employment in a Growing and Globalizing Low-Income Country


We document several facts about workforce transitions from the informal to the formal sector in Vietnam, a fast growing, industrializing, and low-income country. First, younger workers, particularly migrants, are more likely to work in the formal ...