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Earnings Inequality in Sri Lanka

  • Arun, Thankom G.
  • Borooah, Vani

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.

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Paper provided by University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) in its series Development Economics and Public Policy Working Papers with number 30548.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ags:idpmde:30548
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  1. 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 371-92, June.
  2. Knight, J & Song, L & Huaibin, J, 1997. "Chinese Rural Migrants in Urban Enterprises : Three Perspectives," Economics Series Working Papers 99190, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  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. 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.
  6. Ahluwalia, Montek S, 1976. "Income Distribution and Development: Some Stylized Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 128-35, May.
  7. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Dunham & Sisira Kumara Jayasuriya, 1998. "Equity, Growth and Insurrection: Liberalisation and the Welfare Debate in Contemporary Sri Lanka," Working Papers 1998.11, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  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. 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.
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