Measuring informal work is crucial for policy making, especially in development countries where informal work represents a high share of employment. Moreover, existing evidence shows that reporting engagement in work-related activities may differ across population groups. For the case of El Salvador, official data shows that women that answer by themselves register a lower participation rate than when data is reported by another household member. This behavior could be endogenous, since women are more likely to be at home so they perceive that they are not working, but it can also be that they are more likely to underreport.
The objective of this project is threefold. First, it aims to advance our understanding of how to obtain improved measures of labor, especially of those activities that tend to be underestimated in households’ surveys, such as informal and sporadic activities. More specifically, this project will provide experimental evidence on how to improve data collection on informal work, focusing on women and youth in non-urban (rural and peri-urban) areas. Second, it will also explore if the type of respondent (self or proxy) affects how labor participation is measured. Finally, this project aims to provide evidence on women’s and youths’ preferences on formal work attributes.
To achieve the first two goals, the plan is to design and implement a survey experiment to measure and compare the impact of different methods of collecting information on informal work and of the type of informant. The evidence on women's and youths' preferences for formal work attributes will be obtained from a discrete choice experiment inspired in Datta (2019).