IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/b/wbk/wbpubs/28682.html
   My bibliography  Save this book

Wage Inequality in Latin America

Author

Listed:
  • Julian Messina
  • Joana Silva

Abstract

What caused the decline in wage inequality of the 2000s in Latin America? Looking to the future, will the current economic slowdown be regressive? Wage Inequality in Latin America: Understanding the Past to Prepare for the Future addresses these two questions by reviewing relevant literature and providing new evidence on what we know from the conceptual, empirical, and policy perspectives. The answer to the first question can be broken down into several parts, although the bottom line is that the changes in wage inequality resulted from a combination of three forces: (a) education expansion and its effect on falling returns to skill (the supply-side story); (b) shifts in aggregate domestic demand; and (c) exchange rate appreciation from the commodity boom and the associated shift to the nontradable sector that changed interfirm wage differences. Other forces had a non-negligible but secondary role in some countries, while they were not present in others. These include the rapid increase of the minimum wage and a rapid trend toward formalization of employment, which played a supporting role but only during the boom. Understanding the forces behind recent trends also helps to shed light on the second question. The analysis in this volume suggests that the economic slowdown is putting the brakes on the reduction of inequality in Latin America and will likely continue to do so—but it might not actually reverse the region’s movement toward less wage inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Messina & Joana Silva, 2018. "Wage Inequality in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 28682, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:28682
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/28682/9781464810398.pdf?sequence=15
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Jörg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Workplace Heterogeneity and the Rise of West German Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 967-1015.
    2. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:1:p:157-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    5. Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Nora Lustig, 2015. "Declining Wages for College-Educated Workers in Mexico: Are Younger or Older Cohorts Hurt the Most?," Working Papers 1522, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    6. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Jae Song, 2014. "Trade Adjustment: Worker-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1799-1860.
    7. 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.
    8. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    9. Louise Cord & Oscar Barriga†Cabanillas & Leonardo Lucchetti & Carlos Rodríguez†Castelán & Liliana D. Sousa & Daniel Valderrama, 2017. "Inequality Stagnation in Latin America in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 157-181, February.
    10. Jorge Thompson Araujo & Ekaterina Vostroknutova & Markus Brueckner & Mateo Clavijo & Konstantin M. Wacker, 2016. "Beyond Commodities," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 25321, September.
    11. Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 2001. "Going to College to Avoid the Draft: The Unintended Legacy of the Vietnam War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 97-102, May.
    12. 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.
    13. 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).
    14. repec:aea:aejmac:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:149-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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).
    16. Calvo-Gonzalez,Oscar & Castaneda Aguilar,Raul Andres & Farfan Bertran,Maria Gabriela & Reyes,German Jeremias & Sousa,Liliana Do Couto, 2017. "How is the slowdown affecting households in Latin America and the Caribbean ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7948, The World Bank.
    17. Jorge Alvarez & Felipe Benguria & Niklas Engbom & Christian Moser, 2018. "Firms and the Decline in Earnings Inequality in Brazil," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 149-189, January.
    18. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
    19. Robertson, Raymond, 2004. "Relative prices and wage inequality: evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 387-409, December.
    20. repec:wbk:wbpubs:26489 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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:wbk:wbpubs:28682. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Breineder). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.