Producing higher quality jobs: enforcement of mandated benefits across Brazilian cities between 1996-2007

Produced by: 
Universidade de São Paulo
Available from: 
November 2013
Paper author(s): 
Rita Almeida (World Bank)
Pedro Carneiro (University College London)
Renata Narita (University of Sao Paulo)

There is an open debate on how governments can help the creation of higher quality jobs. This paper explores unique administrative data on the enforcement of labor market regulations across Brazilian cities between 1996 and 2006 to analyze this topic. We proxy job quality with several attributes going beyond wages and formality of the work contract. In the context of a strictly regulated labor market, we find robust evidence of (i) a strong trade-off between the provision of mandated non-wage benefits and wage levels, on the one hand, and the provision of optional job benefits on the other, and (ii) more formality leads to higher mean wages in the economy. We argue that enforcement policies can increase welfare depending on how workers value the benefits they get through formal channels vis-à-vis wages and optional benefits.


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