Trade openness and wage distribution in Chile
This article analyses the effect of trade openness, implemented in Chile after 1974, on wage inequality. In the first part, this study analyses inequality and wage distribution in Chile. Workers are grouped in three categories, according to the educational level reached, in order to discriminate between skilled and unskilled labor and calculate the wage gap. The wage gap between workers with a university degree and laborers that completed the secondary school increased during the period analyzed. The wage gap between workers with secondary education completed and laborers that completed the first cycle of education decreased in the period. The second part of this article investigates the relationship between wage inequality dynamics of different groups of workers and trade openness. The empirical results suggest that trade liberalization increased wage differences between workers with a university degree and workers with a high school degree, while it did not affect the decreasing wage gap between laborers with secondary school completed and laborers with primary school completed. This paper is made up of six sections. Section I introduces the analysis. Section II describes briefly the trade liberalization process. Section III analyses the wage distribution in Chile and a measure of the wage gap between more educated and less educated workers is obtained. Section IV presents some theoretical aspects. Section V analyses the effects of the trade liberalization on the wage gap, considering different groups of workers, according to the educational level. Section VI concludes.
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