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Family Income Inequality and the Role of Married Females' Earnings in Mexico: 1988-2010

  • Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez
  • Andrés Hincapié
  • Ruben Irvin Rojas-Valdés

We study family income inequality in Mexico from 1988 to 2010, when among married couples, the share of income contributed by females grew from 13 to 23 percent. However, the correlation of married males’ to married females’ earnings has been fairly stable at 0.28, one of the highest correlations recorded across countries. We follow Cancian and Reed’s (1999) methodology in order to determine whether married females’ income equalizes total family income distribution. We investigate several counterfactuals and conclude that increased female employment has contributed to a decline in family income inequality through higher married females’ labor participation in poor families.

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Article provided by Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its journal Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía.

Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 67-98

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Handle: RePEc:ioe:cuadec:v:49:y:2012:i:1:p:67-98
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  1. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Parker, 2006. "Job loss and family adjustments in work and schooling during the Mexican peso crisis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 163-181, February.
  2. Silvia Pasqua, 2002. "Wives’ Work And Income Distribution In European Countries," CHILD Working Papers wp01_02, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  3. Iulie Aslaksen & Tom Wennemo & Rolf Aaberge, 2005. "'Birds of a Feather Flock Together': The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality ," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(3), pages 491-515, 09.
  4. Raymond Robertson, 2007. "Trade and Wages: Two Puzzles from Mexico," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(9), pages 1378-1398, 09.
  5. Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez, 2010. "Why did wage inequality decrease in Mexico after NAFTA?," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2010-15, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
  6. David Fairris, 2003. "Unions and wage inequality in Mexico," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 481-497, April.
  7. Del Boca, Daniela & Pasqua, Silvia, 2002. "Employment Patterns of Husbands and Wives and Family Income Distribution in Italy (1977-1998)," IZA Discussion Papers 489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1999. "The impact of wives’ earnings on income inequality: Issues and estimates," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 173-184, May.
  9. David Johnson & Roger Wilkins, 2004. "Effects of Changes in Family Composition and Employment Patterns on the Distribution of Income in Australia: 1981-1982 to 1997-1998," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 219-238, 06.
  10. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2006. "Inequality and Poverty in United States: The Effects of Rising Dispersion of Men's Earnings and Changing Family Behaviour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(289), pages 75-98, 02.
  11. 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.
  12. Esquivel, Gerardo & Rodriguez-Lopez, Jose Antonio, 2003. "Technology, trade, and wage inequality in Mexico before and after NAFTA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 543-565, December.
  13. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 73-79, February.
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