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Labor Income Polarization in Greater Buenos Aires


  • Mariana Viollaz

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)

  • Sergio Olivieri

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP)

  • Javier Alejo

    (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - FCE - UNLP y CONICET)


This paper presents and analyzes a group of statistics which characterize the level and evolution of the labor income polarization in Greater Buenos Aires over the past two decades (1986-2006). The empirical evidence reveals two stages throughout those years: the first one distinguished by an increment of all indices and the second one, by shrinkage of them. Inspecting potential factors which could explain those changes, returns to education surge as the main polarization force in the labor market. Hence, an equalizing distribution of the human capital is a possible alternative for a less polarized labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariana Viollaz & Sergio Olivieri & Javier Alejo, 2009. "Labor Income Polarization in Greater Buenos Aires," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0089, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  • Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0089

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David De Ferranti & Guillermo E. Perry & Indermit Gill & J. Luis Guasch & William F. Maloney & Carolina Sanchez-Paramo & Norbert Schady, 2003. "Closing the Gap in Education and Technology," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15168.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    3. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    4. Mariana Viollaz, 2008. "Polarización de ingresos laborales. Argentina 1992 – 2006," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0070, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    5. Gradin, Carlos, 2000. "Polarization by Sub-populations in Spain, 1973-91," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 457-474, December.
    6. Leonardo Gasparini & Francisco Haimovich & Hernán Winkler, 2006. "Distribución del Ingreso en América Latina: Explorando las Diferencias entre Países," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0034, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    7. Walter Sosa Escudero & Leonardo Gasparini, 2000. "A note on the Statistical Significance of Changes in Inequality," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 0(1), pages 111-122, January-J.
    8. Woden, Q.T. & Ayres, W. & Barenstein, M. & Hicks, N. & Lee, K. & Maloney, W. & Peeters, P. & Siaens, C. & Yitzjaki, S., 2000. "Poverty and Policy in Latin America and Caribeean," Papers 467, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    9. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
    10. Matías Horenstein & Sergio Olivieri, 2004. "Income Polarization in Argentina: Pure Income Polarization, Theory and Applications," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 0(1-2), pages 39-66, January-D.
    11. Morley, Samuel A., 2000. "La distribución de ingreso en América Latina y el Caribe," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1657 edited by Cepal, March.
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    More about this item


    polarization; labor; cohesion; inequality; Argentina; Greater Buenos Aires;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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