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Political-Economic Regime and the Wage Curve: Evidence from Chile, 1957-96

  • Janine Berg
  • Dante Contreras

This paper tests whether a wage curve—a negative relationship between the level of unemployment and the level of pay—existed in Chile during 1957-96. The analysis is divided into two periods. For 1957-73, during inward-led development, we reject the existence of a wage curve. For 1974-96, when the economy opened, state-run industries were privatised and labour rights weakened, we find a wage curve of -0.08. Based on this finding we conclude that the unemployment-pay elasticity in the post-reform period is similar to the -0.07 to -0.10 wage curve found in other western, capitalist countries. Disaggregating the analysis by group, we find that women, non-university educated workers and public sector workers have suffered more from unemployment. Yet informal sector workers have not experienced pay drops as a result of unemployment, contradicting the hypothesis that the informal sector acts as a buffer during economic downturns.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 151-165

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Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:18:y:2004:i:2:p:151-165
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  1. Kennedy, Steven & Borland, Jeff, 2000. "A Wage Curve for Australia?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 774-803, October.
  2. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
  4. Edwards, Sebastian & Edwards, Alejandra Cox, 1991. "Monetarism and Liberalization," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226184890, March.
  5. David Card, 1995. "The Wage Curve: A Review," Working Papers 722, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  7. Baltagi, Badi H. & Blien, Uwe, 1998. "The German wage curve: evidence from the IAB employment sample," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 135-142, November.
  8. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
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