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Earnings inequalities and educational mobility in Brazil over two decades

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  • Gignoux, Jérémie
  • Cogneau, Denis

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of changes in educational opportunities on various definitions of labour market inequalities in Brazil over two decades (1976-96). Using four editions of the nationally representative PNAD survey, we analyze the evolution of overall inequalities and inequalities of opportunity in 40-49 year old males’ earnings. We design and implement semiparametric decompositions of the respective effects of (i) schooling expansion, (ii) changes in the structure of earnings, and (iii) changes in intergenerational educational mobility. Earnings inequalities varied little over the period, with a peak in the late 1980s that can be imputed to hyperinflation. First of all, the decompositions show that changes in the distribution of education contributed to the increase in both overall earnings inequalities and inequalities of opportunity among the oldest generations, before sharply reducing them among the post-WWII cohorts. Secondly, the decrease in returns to education also contributed to equalizing labour market opportunities in the 1988-96 period. Thirdly and lastly, the changes in educational mobility were not large enough to significantly affect earnings inequalities, whereas it is shown that they should play a prominent role in equalizing opportunities in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/4402.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in Poverty, Inequality, and Policy in Latin America, . pp. 47-84.Length: 37 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/4402

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Keywords: Labour market; Equality of opportunities; Inequality decomposition; Brazil; Egalité des chances; Marché du travail; Décomposition des inégalités; Brésil;

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Cited by:
  1. Marta Castilho & Marta Menéndez & Aude Sztulman, 2010. "Trade Liberalization, Inequality and Poverty in Brazilian States," Working Papers DT/2010/02, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  2. Guillermo Cruces & Marcelo Bérgolo & Andriana Conconi & Andrés Ham, 2012. "Are there Etchnic Inequality Traps in Education ? Empirical Evidence for Brazil and Chile," Working Papers PMMA 2012-05, PEP-PMMA.
  3. Ferreira , Francisco H. G. & Gignoux, Jeremie, 2008. "The measurement of inequality of opportunity : theory and an application to Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4659, The World Bank.
  4. Cuesta, Jose & Nopo, Hugo & Pizzolitto, Georgina, 2011. "Using Pseudo-Panels to Measure Income Mobility in Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 5449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. François Bourguignon & Francisco Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2007. "Equity, efficiency and inequality traps: A research agenda," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 235-256, August.
  6. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Walton, Michael, 2006. "Inequality of opportunity and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3816, The World Bank.
  7. Fábio Domingues Waltenberg, 2011. "Two procedures forassessing inequality of educational opportunities in Brazil," Anais do XXXVII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 37th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 198, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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