Law and EmploymentLessons from Latin America and the Caribbean

Law and EmploymentLessons from Latin America and the Caribbean

James J. Heckman and Carmen Pages

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226322827

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This book analyzes the effects of regulation and deregulation on Latin American labor markets and presents empirically grounded studies of the costs of regulation. Numerous labor regulations that have been introduced or reformed in Latin America in the past thirty years have had important economic consequences. The book documents the behavior of firms attempting to stay in business and be competitive while facing the high costs of complying with these labor laws. They challenge the prevailing view that labor market regulations affect only the distribution of labor incomes and have little or no impact on efficiency or the performance of labor markets. Using new micro-evidence, this book shows that labor regulations reduce labor market turnover rates and flexibility, promote inequality, and discriminate against marginal workers. Along with in-depth studies of Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Jamaica, and Trinidad, this book provides comparative analysis of Latin American economies against a range of European countries and the United States.