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Informality and Wage setting policies in Latin America

September 20th, 2022

 

For decades, many Latin American economies have displayed low rates of economic growth and stagnant labor productivity accompanied by high and increasing levels of income and wage inequality. Leading scholars will discuss issues related to wage setting and labor market informality in Latin America during the academic conference, which will be followed by a moderated policy discussion combining a number of these scholars with a group of policymakers with specific expertise for this region.

This daylong event is an in-person academic conference and policy discussion at the Insper Institute of Education and Research in São Paulo, Brazil.

This event is co-sponsored by the Insper, the Georgetown Americas Institute, the Georgetown University Global Economic Challenges Network, the Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice (Cemmap), and the Econometric Society

The event will also be livestreamed.

Meet the participants

Keynote Speakers:

David Card

Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Labor Economics and the Econometric Lab. Before joining Berkeley he taught at University of Chicago in 1982-83 and Princeton University from 1983 to 1996. He has held visiting appointments at Columbia University, Harvard University, UCLA, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. From 2012 to 2017 he was Director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Card’s research interests include wage determination, education, inequality, immigration, and gender-related issues. He co-authored the 1995 book Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage, co-edited eight additional titles, and has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters. In 1995, he received the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark Prize, which is awarded to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field. He was President of the AEA in 2021 and co-recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2021. (https://davidcard.berkeley.edu/)

Penny Goldberg

Pinelopi (Penny) Koujianou Goldberg is the Elihu Professor of Economics and an Affiliate of the Economic Growth Center at Yale University. She holds a joint appointment at the Yale Department of Economics and the Jackson School of Global Affairs. From 2018 to 2020, she was the Chief Economist of the World Bank Group. Goldberg was President of the Econometric Society in 2021 and has previously served as Vice-President of the American Economic Association. From 2011-2017 she was Editor-in-Chief of the American Economic Review. She is member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, recipient of Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Sloan Research Fellowships, and recipient of the Bodossaki Prize in Social Sciences. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research (NBER), Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and board member of the Bureau of Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). (https://campuspress.yale.edu/pennygoldberg/)

 

Invited Speakers:

Mauricio Cárdenas

Visiting Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA, and a Visiting Professor at Columbia University SIPA. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington D.C. He was Colombia’s finance minister between 2012 and 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. (https://www.energypolicy.columbia.edu/mauricio-cardenas)

Sergio Firpo

Is the Instituto Unibanco Chair Professor at Insper. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of California at Berkeley. He is an Elected Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a Research Fellow of Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) among others. (https://sites.google.com/site/sergiopfirpo)

Erica Fraga

Erica Fraga is Senior Analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU). She has worked as editor, journalist, columnist and correspondent for O Globo, Folha de São Paulo and The Economist. She holds a Master Degree in International Political Economy from University of Warwick and a bachelor degree in Journalism from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). (https://www.linkedin.com/in/%C3%A9rica-fraga-32b33b16/ )

Ilan Goldfajn

Is the Director for the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He was the President of the Brazilian Central Bank between 2016 and 2019, and currently serves as President of the Credit Suisse Board of Advisors. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ilan-goldfajn-7906b019a/)

Lorenzo Lagos

Lorenzo Lagos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Brown University and a Research Affiliate at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University in 2020 and was posted as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, Industrial Relations Section of Princeton University in 2021. (https://sites.google.com/view/lorenzolagos/home)

Zeina Latif

Is the São Paulo State Secretary for Economic Development. She was the Chief Economist for XP Investments from 2014 to 2020 and worked for leading financial institutions such as ABN-Amro Real e HSBC. She has a Ph.D. in economics from University of São Paulo (USP). (https://www.linkedin.com/in/zeina-latif-70929819/)

Santiago Levy

Is a Senior Advisor at the United Nations Development Program, and a nonresident senior fellow with the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings. He was previously president of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association. From 2008 to 2018 he was the vice president for sectors and knowledge at the Inter-American Development Bank. From 1994 to 2000, Levy served the Mexican government as deputy minister of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University. (https://www.undp.org/latin-america/santiago-levy)

Marcos Lisboa

Is the President of Insper. Marcos holds a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. From 2006 to 2009, he served as Executive Director at Itaú Unibanco and as Vice President from 2009 to 2013. From 2005 to 2006, he was President of the Brazilian Reinsurance Institute and served as the Economic Policy Secretary for the Finance Ministry from 2003 to 2005. He was Assistant Professor at Stanford (1996-98) and EPGE-FGV (1998-2002). (https://www.insper.edu.br/quem-somos/presidente/)

Laura Machado

Currently the São Paulo State Secretary for Social Development. She holds a master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of São Paulo (USP). She teaches and coordinates several courses in Public Policy at Insper. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-muller-machado-a5b2a31b/)

Aureo de Paula

Professor of Economics at University College London and joined the Center for Microdata Methods and Practice (CEMMAP) in 2011. He is a Research Fellow with the IFS and CEPR, a Research Affiliate with the Population Studies Center (University of Pennsylvania), a member of the Inequality: Measurement, Interpretation, and Policy network of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group (HCEO), among others. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University. (https://www.cemmap.ac.uk/person/aureo-de-paula/)

Cristine Pinto

Cris Pinto is Full Professor of Economics at Insper. She received a Ph.D. in Economics and a Masters in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. Her fields of interest are Econometrics, Labor Economics and Economic Development. (https://sites.google.com/site/cristinepinto/)

Brenda Samaniego

Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She received a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago in 2017 and was a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (https://sites.google.com/ucsc.edu/brendasamaniego/home)

Rodrigo Soares

Is the Lemann Foundation Professor of Economics at Insper. Rodrigo holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago (2002). He is also the Lemann Family Foundation Visiting Professor of Brazilian Studies, at Columbia University, 2022-2025. He is an Elected Fellow of the Econometric Society. (https://sites.google.com/view/rodrigo-r-soares/)

Gabriel Ulyssea

Associate professor at the Department of Economics at University College London, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He is also a Research Fellow at IZA and a Research Affiliate at CEPR. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of Chicago. (https://sites.google.com/view/gabriel-ulyssea)

Frank Vella

Has been an Edmond Villani Chair Professor in Economics at Georgetown University since 2005, and a Special Advisor to the President since 2019. He is the Director for the Georgetown Center for Econometric Practice, and research associate at Institute of Fiscal Studies, London, and IZA. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of Rochester. (https://sites.google.com/georgetown.edu/francis-vella/home)

Alejandro Werner

Joined the Georgetown Americas Institute as founding director in March 2022. From 2013 to 2021, he served as director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007. (https://americas.georgetown.edu/people/alejandro-werner)

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20/09/2022 - Informality and wage setting policies in Latin America

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Schedule

9:40-10am
Registration

10am-10:15
Welcome Session with Marcos Lisboa (Insper), Aureo de Paula (CEMMAP) and Alejandro Werner (Georgetown University)

10:15-12:30
Informality in Latin American Labor Markets

  • Chair: Cristine Pinto (Insper)
  • Keynote Address 1 (75 min.): “Trade and Informality in the Presence of Labor Market Frictions and Regulations” – Penny Goldberg (Yale University)
  • Invited 1 (30min): “Firm Dynamics and the Labor Market Effect of Rural-Urban Migration” – Gabriel Ulyssea (University College London)
  • Invited 2 (30min): “How Much is a Formal Job Worth? Evidence from Mexico” – Brenda Samaniego (University of California at Santa Cruz)

12:30-2:15pm
Lunch

2:15-4:30pm
Wage Setting in Latin America

  • Chair: Rodrigo Soares (Insper)
  • Keynote Address 2 (75min): “Estimating and Interpreting the Effects of Firms on Labor Market Outcomes” – David Card (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Invited 3 (30min): “Collective Bargaining for Women: How Unions Can Create Female-Friendly Jobs” – Lorenzo Lagos (Brown University)
  • Invited 4 (30min): “Informality and Earnings Volatility” – Sergio Firpo (Insper)

4:30pm-5pm
Coffee Break

5pm-7:30pm
Roundtable on Labor Market Policies in Latin America

  • Welcome: Alejandro Werner (Georgetown University)
  • Moderator: Erica Fraga (The Economist Intelligence Unit)

1st Panel

Labor market and Informality Policy Challenges in Latin America

  • Ilan Goldfain (International Monetary Fund)
  • Santiago Levy (UNDP and Brookings Institution)

Comments by David Card and Penny Goldberg

2nd Panel

The political economy of labor market reform and informality in Latin America

  • Mauricio Cardenas (Columbia University)
  • Laura Machado (São Paulo State Secretary for Social Development)
  • Zeina Latif (São Paulo State Secretary for Economic Development)

Comments by David Card and Penny Goldberg