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The Effect of Social Security Contributions on Coverage and Wages: A Gender Perspective Using a Natural Experiment from Colombia

Listed author(s):
  • Andres J. Vargas


    (Department of Economics, Texas Tech University, Box 41014, Lubbock, TX, 79409, USA)

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    This article investigates, from a gender and marital status perspective, the effects of pension and health care contributions on the employment and wages of workers covered by social security regulations. To do this, I use as a natural experiment a reform implemented in Colombia during the mid-1990s. In particular I employ a differences-in-differences estimation based on an endogenous switching-regression model that accounts for self-selection into coverage. My results indicate that, for females, a 10% increase in contributions reduces the relative wages of covered workers by 7.2%. On the other hand, for males, the reform increases the relative wages of covered workers by 7.1%. Among females, the effect is predominantly present in single women. Among men, divorced and widowed workers are the only group not to experience an effect on earnings. For most family groups, the social security reform has no significant effect on coverage.

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    Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 78 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (October)
    Pages: 476-501

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    Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:78:2:y:2011:p:476-501
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