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Evolution of earnings and rates of returns to education in Mexico

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  • Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys

Abstract

Reviewing the factors, and mechanisms that have been driving inequality in earnings in Mexico, the author finds that inequality in education, accounts for the largest share by far of the variation in earnings. In fact, the contribution of educational inequality to earnings inequality in Mexico, ranks second in size in Latin America, after that in Brazil, and its significance has been increasing. Moreover, the income effect is always prevalent, and the distribution of education is highly significant, even after controlling for changes in other relevant variables, such as age, region, economic sector, and labor market status. But the increase in earnings inequality in Mexico, does not appear to be the result of a worsening in the distribution of education - although the income profile, which is related to returns to schooling, has become much steeper. This means that the shift in demand toward high-skilled labor, has not been matched by an increase in supply. The probable reason: the increased economic openness in Mexico has facilitated skill-biased technological change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2691.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2691

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Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Health Economics&Finance; Economic Theory&Research; Labor Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Governance Indicators; Inequality; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Environmental Economics&Policies;

References

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  1. Hanson, Gordon H, 1997. "Increasing Returns, Trade and the Regional Structure of Wages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 113-33, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  5. Cesar Patricio Bouillon & Arianna Legovini & Nora Lustig, 2003. "Rising Inequality in Mexico: Household Characteristics and Regional Effects," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 112-133.
  6. Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1983. "Educational Expansion and the Kuznets Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1132-36, December.
  7. Leibbrandt, M.V. & Woolard, C.D. & Woolard, I.D., 1996. "The Contribution of Income Components to Income Inequality in South Africa: A Decomposable Gini Analysis," Papers 125, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  8. Hanson, G.H. & Harrison, A., 1995. "Trade, Technology and Wage Inequality," Papers 95-20, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  9. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  10. Schultz, T. Paul, 1988. "Education investments and returns," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 543-630 Elsevier.
  11. Mueller, Richard E., 1998. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Canada: evidence from quantile regressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 229-235, August.
  12. Cowell, Frank A, 1980. "On the Structure of Additive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 521-31, April.
  13. Almeida dos Reis, Jose Guilherme & Paes de Barros, Ricardo, 1991. "Wage inequality and the distribution of education : A study of the evolution of regional differences in inequality in metropolitan Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 117-143, July.
  14. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  15. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Armando Arellano & Thomas Fullerton, 2005. "Educational Attainment and Regional Economic Performance in Mexico," International Advances in Economic Research, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 11(2), pages 231-242, May.
  2. World Bank, 2005. "Mexico : Determinants of Learning Policy Note," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8284, The World Bank.

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