This paper examines the institutional biases that impede the competitive functioning of labor markets. Two contexts are considered. The first relates to Moroccan labor migrants in The Netherlands, where institutional bias distorts the competitive functioning of the labor market by downgrading the educational returns to migrant workers and acting as a disincentive for further investment in human capital. The second relates to labor markets in Indonesia and Pakistan. Institutional bias in these two countries leads to an exaggeration of labor returns to certified education, and to over-investment in university education. We argue that such biases are fed by misinformed beliefs and group interests, and stand in the way of achieving higher growth and equity.

Educational returns, Institutions, Labor market, competitiveness, human capital, institutional framework, labor market, labor migration, labor policy, migrant worker, returns to education, welfare impact,
Socio-Economic Planning Sciences
Erasmus School of Economics

Cohen, S.I, & Rettab, B. (2010). Institutional barriers in labor markets: Examples, impacts, and policies. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 44(4), 193–198. doi:10.1016/j.seps.2010.07.001