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Changes in Human Capital and Wage Inequality in Mexico

  • Gurleen K. Popli

Over the last two decades, Mexico has witnessed a significant increase in wage inequality, typically attributed to the increase in relative demand for skilled labour. Over this period, educational achievements and their distribution across the labour force have also changed substantially. In this paper, the impact of changes in human capital on wage inequality in Mexico is analysed. The analysis focuses on decomposing the level of inequality in any given year and the change in inequality over time into observable (e.g. age, education, etc.) and unobservable differences across workers. The main findings of this paper are that unobservable factors account for most of the inequality in any given year; among the observable factors, human capital emerges as the most important variable explaining the level of inequality in any given year, and, further, it is the changes in human capital, specifically the returns to education, that are mainly responsible for the observed changes in inequality.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (February)
Pages: 369-387

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:369-387
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