A Guide to Multisector Labor Market Models

This paper approaches labor markets through multisector modeling. The first main substantive section presents the essence of multisector modeling, in particular, the role of labor market dualism. Given that labor markets often consist of quite distinct segments, a useful and insightful analytical approach is to start with just two interrelated segments. The second main substantive section is on models of wages and employment in the formal economy. This section covers 1) the market-clearing labor market model and the presumed equilibrating forces, 2) above-market-clearing wages set institutionally, 3) above-market-clearing wages set by efficiency wage considerations, and 4) above-market-clearing wages set by worker behavior. The third main substantive section is on wages and employment in the informal economy. This section presents three characterizations of informal sector labor markets: 1) the informal economy as a free-entry sector that prospective workers enter only as a last resort, 2) the informal economy as a desirable sector that workers choose in preference to formal sector work, and 3) the informal economy with its own internal dualism, combining 1) and 2). The fourth main substantive section is on intersectoral linkages. The models here are: 1) the integrated labor market model with full market clearing, 2) crowding models, and 3) the Harris-Todaro model.