Working Paper
Scrutinizing the sticky floor/glass ceiling phenomena in the informal labour market in Cameroon

An unconditional quantile regression analysis

Cameroon’s informal labour market largely harbours female workers, engaged mainly in low-productivity and low-paying jobs. We investigate the sticky floor and glass ceiling phenomena in the informal labour market as a whole and across its segments.

We use the 2010 Cameroon labour market survey, employing the recentred influence function and blending the Oaxaca-Ransom and Neuman-Oaxaca decomposition methods. The resulting framework enables us to account for selectivity bias at the mean, resolve the index number problem of the standard decomposition, and examine earnings differentials across the unconditional earnings distribution.

We find compelling evidence of a sticky floor phenomenon in the informal labour market manifested essentially among wage earners. Returns to experience mitigate the gender earnings gap at the mean, and 10th and 50th percentiles of the unconditional earnings distribution. Female workers have an unambiguous human-capital-based advantage over their male counterparts at the mean, lower tail, and median of the distribution.