The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyzes the macroeconomic effects of fiscal and labor market policies in developing countries. The basic framework considers a small open economy with a large informal production sector and a heterogeneous work force. The labor market is segmented as a result of efficiency considerations and minimum wage laws. The basic model is then extended to account for unemployment benefits, income taxation, and imperfect labor mobility across sectors. The analysis indicates, among other results, that a reduction in unemployement benefits has a positive effect on output of tradable goods by lowering both the level of efficiency wages and the relative rent captured by skilled workers.