Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Classism, Discrimination And Meritocrascy In The Labor Market: The Case Of Chile


Author Info

  • Roberto Gutierrez
  • Javier Nunez


This paper examines the returns to the socioeconomic background of origin (or “classâ€) in the labor market in Chile. We employ individual data from several cohorts of graduates from the same program (Business and Economics) of a large and diverse public University in Chile. The data includes productivity measures uncommon in earnings differential studies, such as academic performance at University, school academic quality, and second language proficiency. Four measures of socioeconomic background are employed, which are significantly correlated. These are highly significant in explaining earnings despite their collinearity, and after controlling for various measures of productivity. The class wage gaps obtained by a Oxaca-Ramson decomposition amount to approximately 25 to 35 percent, which are remarkably higher than wage gaps reported in the literature for other workers’ characteristics such as gender, race and physical appearance. Moreover, the effect of class is more important in determining earnings than academic performance at University. Future research must focus on explaining the causes of this large return to class. These may emerge from some combination of pure employer discrimination, productivity-enhancing discrimination from other parties (such as consumers, peers and suppliers), statistical discrimination by employers and “pure†class-related productivity

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings with number 308.

as in new window
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:308

Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Discrimination; Earnings gaps;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1995. "Beauty, Productivity and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," NBER Working Papers 5366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1992. "The effects of race on professional football players' compensation," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(2), pages 295-310, January.
  3. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  4. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:308. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.