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Income Inequality, Skills And Trade: Evidence From Colombia During The 80s And 90s


  • Mauricio Santamaría



This paper investigates the evolution of labor income inequality in Colombia in the period 1978-98. Main findings are the secular fall of the returns to intermediate skill and the increases of wages for highly educated people and for women. Such changes are associated with shifts of the skill composition of the labor force and with skill biased technical change, rather than with increased openness of the economy. The paper uses a skill supply and demand framework to arrive to these conclusions, and also a non-parametric decomposition exercise is carried out.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Santamaría, 2004. "Income Inequality, Skills And Trade: Evidence From Colombia During The 80s And 90s," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002832, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:002832

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    3. Borjas, George J & Freeman, Richard B & Katz, Lawrence, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 246-251, May.
    4. William R. Cline, 1997. "Trade and Income Distribution," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 58.
    5. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
    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. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Julio Romero, 2008. "Diferencias sociales y regionales en el ingreso laboral de las principales ciudades colombianas, 2001-2004," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, November.
    2. Carmiña O: Vargas, 2011. "Desigualdad de salarios en Colombia: evidencia a partir de encuestas de hogares 1984 - 2010," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 008808, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    3. Carlos Medina & Christian Posso, 2010. "Technical Change and Polarization of the Labor Market: Evidence for Brazil, Colombia and Mexico," Borradores de Economia 614, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    4. Carlos Medina & Christian M. Posso & Jorge A. Tamayo & Emma Monsalve, 2012. "Dinámica de la Demanda Laboral en la Industria Manufacturera Colombiana 1993-2009: una Estimación Panel VAR," Borradores de Economia 694, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    5. World Bank, 2005. "Labor Market Adjustment, Reform and Productivity in Colombia : What are the Factors that Matter? Volume 2 : Technical Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8406, The World Bank.

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    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand


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