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The earnings share of total income in Latin America, 1990-2010


  • Abeles, Martín
  • Amarante, Verónica
  • Vega, Daniel


This article analyses the share of total income represented by employment earnings in the countries of Latin America over the last two decades. It first considers the wage share of gross domestic product (gdp) and then adds in the earnings of self-employed workers. The findings indicate that both total wages and total earnings declined as a share of gdp in most of the region’s countries over the period, although there were some exceptions. The reduction in earnings inequality seen over the past decade was not usually accompanied by an increase in the gdp share of earnings. This means that the improvement in personal income distribution was not matched by an improvement in functional distribution.

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  • Abeles, Martín & Amarante, Verónica & Vega, Daniel, 2014. "The earnings share of total income in Latin America, 1990-2010," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecr:col070:37804

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yamada, Gustavo & Castro, Juan & Bacigalupo, José, 2012. "Desigualdad monetaria en un contexto de rápido crecimiento económico: El caso reciente del Perú," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 24, pages 65-77.
    2. Alain Serres & Stefano Scarpetta & Christine Maisonneuve, 2001. "Falling Wage Shares in Europe and the United States: How Important is Aggregation Bias?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 375-401, December.
    3. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
    4. Francisco Rodríguez & Daniel Ortega, 2006. "Are capital shares higher in poor countries? Evidence from Industrial Surveys," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-023, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
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    JEL classification:

    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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