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Family Income Inequality and the Role of Married Females' Earnings in Mexico: 1988-2010

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  • Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez
  • Andrés Hincapié
  • Ruben Irvin Rojas-Valdés

Abstract

We study family income inequality in Mexico from 1988 to 2010, when among married couples, the share of income contributed by females grew from 13 to 23 percent. However, the correlation of married males’ to married females’ earnings has been fairly stable at 0.28, one of the highest correlations recorded across countries. We follow Cancian and Reed’s (1999) methodology in order to determine whether married females’ income equalizes total family income distribution. We investigate several counterfactuals and conclude that increased female employment has contributed to a decline in family income inequality through higher married females’ labor participation in poor families.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its journal Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía.

Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 67-98

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Handle: RePEc:ioe:cuadec:v:49:y:2012:i:1:p:67-98

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Keywords: Income inequality; female employment; female earnings; Latin America; Mexico;

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References

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  1. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Parker, 2006. "Job loss and family adjustments in work and schooling during the Mexican peso crisis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 163-181, February.
  2. Del Boca, Daniela & Pasqua, Silvia, 2002. "Employment Patterns of Husbands and Wives and Family Income Distribution in Italy (1977-1998)," IZA Discussion Papers 489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez, 2013. "Why did wage inequality decrease in Mexico after NAFTA?," Economia Mexicana NUEVA EPOCA, , vol. 0(2), pages 245-278, July-Dece.
  4. Raymond Robertson, 2007. "Trade and Wages: Two Puzzles from Mexico," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(9), pages 1378-1398, 09.
  5. Esquivel, Gerardo & Rodriguez-Lopez, Jose Antonio, 2003. "Technology, trade, and wage inequality in Mexico before and after NAFTA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 543-565, December.
  6. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 73-79, February.
  7. David Johnson & Roger Wilkins, 2004. "Effects of Changes in Family Composition and Employment Patterns on the Distribution of Income in Australia: 1981-1982 to 1997-1998," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 219-238, 06.
  8. Silvia Pasqua, 2008. "Wives' work and income distribution in European countries," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 5(2), pages 157-186, December.
  9. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2006. "Inequality and Poverty in United States: The Effects of Rising Dispersion of Men's Earnings and Changing Family Behaviour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(289), pages 75-98, 02.
  10. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1999. "The impact of wives’ earnings on income inequality: Issues and estimates," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 173-184, May.
  11. Cragg, Michael Ian & Epelbaum, Mario, 1996. "Why has wage dispersion grown in Mexico? Is it the incidence of reforms or the growing demand for skills?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 99-116, October.
  12. Iulie Aslaksen & Tom Wennemo & Rolf Aaberge, 2000. ""Birds of a Feather Flock Together" The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality," Discussion Papers 276, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
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