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Informal employment and work health risks: Evidence from Cambodia

Dike, Onyemaechi (2019): Informal employment and work health risks: Evidence from Cambodia.

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Workplace safety is a topical issue in public policy debates in industrializing countries like Cambodia where high economic growth rates have yet to translate into higher job quality. This paper studies the relationship between informal employment and occupational health using the 2012 Cambodia Labour Force Survey. I estimate probit models and find that informal employment on its own is associated with a significant increase in the probability of work injury/illness. However in the most complete specification with controls for personal, job and firm characteristics, the effect of informal employment turns out to be small in magnitide and statistically insignificant. I discuss possible explanations for this finding. Results from this analysis suggest that in a context of weak administrative capacity for the enforcement of labour regulations, as is the case in Cambodia, work health risks are a concern across the board, not just in the informal sector.

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