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Earnings Inequality in Sri Lanka

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  • Arun, Thankom G.
  • Borooah, Vani

Abstract

Since the 1990s, accelerating economic growth has regained its dominance in the anti poverty strategies. However, the rising tendency of income inequity at the global level and within the countries emphasizes the need to incorporate distributional factors to make the pro-poor growth strategies effective. This paper explores the sources of this surge in income inequality in a developing country context. The paper attempts to estimate an earnings function for Sri Lanka based on the household expenditure survey. The earners are distinguished by ethnicity, gender, sectors of employment, place of residence, education and occupation. One of the significant results of this study is that there was no "ethnic effect" per se on earnings on Sri Lanka. Having seen a significant gender effect in earnings, the paper further attempts to calculate the degree to which this gender difference in earnings represents "discrimination" against women.

Suggested Citation

  • Arun, Thankom G. & Borooah, Vani, 2004. "Earnings Inequality in Sri Lanka," Development Economics and Public Policy Working Papers 30548, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:idpmde:30548
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Knight & Lina Song, 2003. "Increasing urban wage inequality in China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 11(4), pages 597-619, December.
    2. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    3. David Dunham & Sisira Jayasuriya, 2000. "Equity, Growth and Insurrection: Liberalization and the Welfare Debate in Contemporary Sri Lanka," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1), pages 97-110.
    4. Birdsall, Nancy & Ross, David & Sabot, Richard, 1995. "Inequality and Growth Reconsidered: Lessons from East Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(3), pages 477-508, September.
    5. John Knight & Lina Song & Jia Huaibin, 1999. "Chinese rural migrants in urban enterprises: Three perspectives," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 73-104.
    6. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-392, June.
    7. Ahluwalia, Montek S, 1976. "Income Distribution and Development: Some Stylized Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 128-135, May.
    8. Wendy Cunningham & Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2003. "Earnings Inequality Within and Across Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Groups in Latin America," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2003-001, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
    9. Michael Keating, 2003. "The Labour Market and Inequality," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(4), pages 374-396.
    10. Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor and Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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