IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/deveco/v135y2018icp555-573.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America

Author

Listed:
  • Fernández, Manuel
  • Messina, Julián

Abstract

After a decade of increasing wage inequality, this paper documents a sharp compression in the distribution of wages in Argentina and Chile during the 2000s. In Brazil, wage inequality has steadily declined since the early 1990s. Counterfactual exercises show that the evolutions of the schooling and experience premiums are key determinants of the decline in inequality. The 2000s witnessed a rapid decline in the schooling and experience premiums, at the same time as the working population was aging and becoming more educated. To understand these changes, the paper develops a model of imperfect substitution across experience and education groups and estimates the relevant elasticities of substitution. Changes in labor supply contributed significantly to the decline of the experience and education premiums, but are not enough to account fully for the observed changes. The demand for experience shifted in favor of younger workers, while the relative demand for college graduates declined during the 2000s.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernández, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2018. "Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 555-573.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:555-573
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.08.012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387818304905
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.08.012?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kevin M. Murphy & Finis Welch, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326.
    2. Costa, Francisco & Garred, Jason & Pessoa, João Paulo, 2016. "Winners and losers from a commodities-for-manufactures trade boom," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 50-69.
    3. Thomas Lemieux & W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 2009. "Performance Pay and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-49.
    4. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    6. Gasparini, Leonardo & Galiani, Sebastian & Cruces, Guillermo & Acosta, Pablo A., 2011. "Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 6244, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2012. "Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2010," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2012-009, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Litchfield, Julie A., 2008. "The Rise And Fall Of Brazilian Inequality: 1981–2004," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 199-230, September.
    9. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & Inchauste, Gabriela & Sanfelice, Viviane, 2013. "Decomposing the recent inequality decline in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6715, The World Bank.
    10. Sanchez-Paramo, Carolina & Schady, Norbert, 2003. "Off and running? Technology, trade and the rising demand for skilled workers in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3015, The World Bank.
    11. Leonardo Gasparini & Nora Lustig, 2011. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1110, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    12. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    13. Erten, Bilge & Ocampo, José Antonio, 2013. "Super Cycles of Commodity Prices Since the Mid-Nineteenth Century," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 14-30.
    14. Cavallo, Alberto, 2013. "Online and official price indexes: Measuring Argentina's inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 152-165.
    15. Galiani, Sebastian & Sanguinetti, Pablo, 2003. "The impact of trade liberalization on wage inequality: evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 497-513, December.
    16. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Nora Lustig, 2005. "The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 14844, December.
    17. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2012. "Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2010," Working Papers - Economics wp2012_02.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    18. Marco Manacorda & Carolina Sanchez-Paramo & Norbert Schady, 2010. "Changes in Returns to Education in Latin America: The Role of Demand and Supply of Skills," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 307-326, January.
    19. Pablo Acosta & Guillermo Cruces & Sebastian Galiani & Leonardo Gasparini, 2019. "Educational upgrading and returns to skills in Latin America: evidence from a supply–demand framework," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 28(1), pages 1-20, December.
    20. Fernández, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2018. "Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 555-573.
    21. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-09 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Juan Luis Londoño & Miguel Székely, 2000. "Persistent Poverty and Excess Inequality: Latin America, 1970-1995," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 3, pages 93-134, May.
    23. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, May.
    24. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    25. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2010. "Income Distribution under Latin America's New Left Regimes," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 85-114.
    26. Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "What explains skill upgrading in less developed countries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 311-328, August.
    27. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2096, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    28. 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.
    29. 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.
    30. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    31. Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez & Célestin Monga, 2016. "Deconstructing the Decline in Inequality in Latin America," International Economic Association Series, in: Kaushik Basu & Joseph E. Stiglitz (ed.), Inequality and Growth: Patterns and Policy, chapter 7, pages 212-247, Palgrave Macmillan.
    32. Timothy Halliday & Daniel Lederman & Raymond Robertson, 2018. "Tracking wage inequality trends with prices and different trade models: evidence from Mexico," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(1), pages 47-73, February.
    33. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-229, April.
    34. Matthew Johnson & Michael P. Keane, 2013. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of the US Wage Structure, 1968-1996," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-49.
    35. Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
    36. Green, Francis & Dickerson, Andy & Saba Arbache, Jorge, 2001. "A Picture of Wage Inequality and the Allocation of Labor Through a Period of Trade Liberalization: The Case of Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1923-1939, November.
    37. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2012. "Comment: On Estimating Elasticities Of Substition," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 198-210, February.
    38. Diego Battistón & Carolina García-Domench & Leonardo Gasparini, 2014. "Could an Increase in Education Raise Income Inequality? Evidence for Latin America," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 51(1), pages 1-39, May.
    39. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
    40. Juan Luis Londoño & Miguel Székely, 2000. "Persistent Poverty and Excess Inequality: Latin America, 1970–1995," Journal of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 93-134, May.
    41. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    42. Yang Wang & Nora Lustig & Otavio Bartalotti, 2016. "Decomposing Changes in Male Wage Distribution in Brazil," Research in Labor Economics, in: Income Inequality Around the World, volume 44, pages 49-78, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
    43. B. Essama-Nssah & Peter J. Lambert, 2011. "Influence functions for distributional statistics," Working Papers 236, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    44. Santiago Levy & Norbert Schady, 2013. "Latin America's Social Policy Challenge: Education, Social Insurance, Redistribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 193-218, Spring.
    45. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillero Cruces & Leopoldo Tornarolli, 2011. "Recent Trends In Income Inequality In Latin America," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 147-201, January.
    46. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
    47. David Jaume, 2018. "The Labor Market Effects of an Educational Expansion. A Theoretical Model with Applications to Brazil," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0220, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    48. Miguel Sz�kely & Pamela Mendoza, 2015. "Is the Decline in Inequality in Latin America Here to Stay?," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 397-419, August.
    49. Robertson, Raymond, 2004. "Relative prices and wage inequality: evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 387-409, December.
    50. Julian Messina & Joana Silva, 2018. "Wage Inequality in Latin America," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 28682, December.
    51. Jere R. Behrman & Nancy Birdsall & Miguel Székely, 2007. "Economic Policy Changes and Wage Differentials in Latin America," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 57-97, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bhalotra, Sonia & Fernandez Sierra, Manuel, 2018. "The distribution of the gender wage gap," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-10, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Andrés O. Dávila & Manuel Fernández & Hernando Zuleta, 2021. "The Natural Resource Boom and The Uneven Fall of The Labor Share," Documentos CEDE 19427, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    3. Birulin, Oleksii & Parfinenko, Nina & Smirnov, Vladimir & Wait, Andrew, 2019. "Signaling and the College Wage Premium," Working Papers 2019-14, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Nov 2019.
    4. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Luis C. Carvajal-Osorio, 2020. "Two Stories of Wage Dynamics in Latin America: Different Policies, Different Outcomes," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 128-168, June.
    5. Quiñones, Mauricio & Posso, Christian M. & Mancera, Nicolas & Duque, Juan C. & Medina, Carlos A., 2023. "Intragenerational mobility and the concept of the equalization of longer-term incomes: An estimation for a developing country," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    6. Fernández, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2018. "Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 555-573.
    7. Manuel Fernández & Gabriela Serrano, 2022. "New Perspectives on Inequality in Latin America," Documentos CEDE 20295, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    8. Carlos Rodríguez‐Castelán & Luis Felipe López‐Calva & Nora Lustig & Daniel Valderrama, 2022. "Wage inequality in the developing world: Evidence from Latin America," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 1944-1970, November.
    9. Havranek, Tomas & Irsova, Zuzana & Laslopova, Lubica & Zeynalova, Olesia, 2020. "Skilled and Unskilled Labor Are Less Substitutable than Commonly Thought," EconStor Preprints 223060, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    10. Havranek, Tomas & Irsova, Zuzana & Laslopova, Lubica & Zeynalova, Olesia, 2020. "The Elasticity of Substitution between Skilled and Unskilled Labor: A Meta-Analysis," MPRA Paper 102598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Motte Henrique & Oliveira Rodrigo, 2020. "The effect of class assignment on academic performance and the labour market: Evidence from a public federal university in Brazil," WIDER Working Paper Series wp2020-8, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Julian Messina & Joana Silva, 2018. "Wage Inequality in Latin America," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 28682, December.
    13. Birulin, Oleksii & Smirnov, Vladimir & Wait, Andrew, 2020. "The evolving nature of the college wage premium," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 474-479.
    14. Bhalotra, Sonia R & Fernández, Manuel & Wang, Fan, 2022. "The distribution of the gender wage gap : An equilibrium model," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 614, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    15. Lebow, Jeremy, 2024. "Immigration and occupational downgrading in Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C).
    16. Henrique Z. Motte & Rodrigo Oliveira, 2020. "The effect of class assignment on academic performance and the labour market: Evidence from a public federal university in Brazil," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-8, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Fernandez Sierra, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2017. "Skill Premium, Labor Supply and Changes in the Structure of Wages in Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 10718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Bhalotra, Sonia & Fernandez Sierra, Manuel, 2018. "The distribution of the gender wage gap," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-10, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Manuel Fernández & Gabriela Serrano, 2022. "New Perspectives on Inequality in Latin America," Documentos CEDE 20295, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    4. Bhalotra, Sonia R & Fernández, Manuel & Wang, Fan, 2022. "The distribution of the gender wage gap : An equilibrium model," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 614, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Gasparini, Leonardo & Galiani, Sebastian & Cruces, Guillermo & Acosta, Pablo A., 2011. "Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 6244, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillermo Cruces & Leopoldo Tornarolli, 2016. "Chronicle of a Deceleration Foretold: Income inequality in Latin America in the 2010s," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0198, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    7. Francisco H G Ferreira & Sergio P Firpo & Julián Messina, 2022. "Labor Market Experience and Falling Earnings Inequality in Brazil: 1995–2012," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 36(1), pages 37-67.
    8. Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Luis C. Carvajal-Osorio, 2020. "Two Stories of Wage Dynamics in Latin America: Different Policies, Different Outcomes," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 128-168, June.
    9. Gallego, Francisco A., 2012. "Skill Premium in Chile: Studying Skill Upgrading in the South," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 594-609.
    10. Carlos Rodríguez‐Castelán & Luis Felipe López‐Calva & Nora Lustig & Daniel Valderrama, 2022. "Wage inequality in the developing world: Evidence from Latin America," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 1944-1970, November.
    11. García Muñoz, Teresa María & Milgram Baleix, Juliette & Odeh, Omar Odeh, 2020. "Inequality in Latin America: The role of the nature of trade and partners," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 14, pages 1-35.
    12. John Ariza & Gabriel Montes-Rojas, 2019. "Decomposition methods for analyzing inequality changes in Latin America 2002–2014," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 57(6), pages 2043-2078, December.
    13. Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez, 2013. "Why did wage inequality decrease in Mexico after NAFTA?," Economía Mexicana NUEVA ÉPOCA, CIDE, División de Economía, vol. 0(2), pages 245-278, July-Dece.
    14. Carlos Rodriguez-Castelan & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Nora Lustig & Daniel Valderrama, 2016. "Understanding the Dynamics of Labor Income Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1608, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    15. Pablo Acosta & Guillermo Cruces & Sebastian Galiani & Leonardo Gasparini, 2019. "Educational upgrading and returns to skills in Latin America: evidence from a supply–demand framework," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 28(1), pages 1-20, December.
    16. T. Gries & R. Grundmann & I. Palnau & M. Redlin, 2017. "Innovations, growth and participation in advanced economies - a review of major concepts and findings," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 293-351, April.
    17. Monte, Ferdinando, 2011. "Skill bias, trade, and wage dispersion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 202-218, March.
    18. Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez & Célestin Monga, 2016. "Deconstructing the Decline in Inequality in Latin America," International Economic Association Series, in: Kaushik Basu & Joseph E. Stiglitz (ed.), Inequality and Growth: Patterns and Policy, chapter 7, pages 212-247, Palgrave Macmillan.
    19. Fabián Slonimczyk, 2013. "Earnings inequality and skill mismatch in the U.S.: 1973–2002," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(2), pages 163-194, June.
    20. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2017. "Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-15, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Earnings inequality; Unconditional quantile regressions; Supply-demand framework; Human capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:555-573. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.