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Decomposing Changes in Male Wage Distribution in Brazil

In: Income Inequality Around the World


  • Yang Wang
  • Nora Lustig
  • Otavio Bartalotti


Abstract Between 1995 and 2012, the wage distribution of male workers in Brazil shifted to the right and became less dispersed. This paper attempts to identify the reasons for that movement in male wage distribution, focusing on the impact of education expansion on wage distribution. The Oaxaca-Blinder (OB) and Recentered Influence Function (RIF) decomposition results show that both changes in returns on skills and upgrades in the composition of work skills contribute to increases in the average wage and wages at the 10th and 50th percentiles. The shifts in returns to skills had a decreasing impact on wages at the 90th percentile and are identified as the primary force reducing wage inequality. Education expansion had an equalizing impact on wage distribution, primarily through the decline in return to education.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang Wang & Nora Lustig & Otavio Bartalotti, 2016. "Decomposing Changes in Male Wage Distribution in Brazil," Research in Labor Economics,in: Income Inequality Around the World, volume 44, pages 49-78 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:rleczz:s0147-912120160000044009

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:deveco:v:135:y:2018:i:c:p:555-573 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fernández, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2018. "Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 555-573.

    More about this item


    Wage inequality; decomposition; wage structure effect; composition effect; education expansion; J31; J82; I24;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality


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