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Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010

Author

Listed:
  • Leonardo Gasparini

    (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP & CONICET)

  • Sebastián Galiani

    (University of Maryland)

  • Guillermo Cruces

    (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP & CONICET & IZA)

  • Pablo Acosta

    (World Bank)

Abstract

This paper documents the evolution of wage differentials and the supply of workers by educational level for sixteen Latin American countries over the period 1991- 2013. We find a pattern of rather constant rise in the relative supply of skilled and semiskilled workers over the period. Whereas the returns to secondary education fell over time, in contrast, the returns to tertiary education display a remarkable changing pattern common to almost all economies: significant increase in the 1990s, strong fall in the 2000s and a deceleration of that fall in the 2010s. We conclude that supply-side factors seem to have limited explanatory power relative to demand-side factors in accounting for changes in the wage gap between workers with tertiary education and the rest.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Gasparini & Sebastián Galiani & Guillermo Cruces & Pablo Acosta, 2018. "Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0239, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  • Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0239
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gallego, Francisco A., 2012. "Skill Premium in Chile: Studying Skill Upgrading in the South," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 594-609.
    2. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:1:p:157-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Galiani, Sebastian & Sanguinetti, Pablo, 2003. "The impact of trade liberalization on wage inequality: evidence from Argentina," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 497-513, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Pablo Acosta & Gabriel V. Montes-Rojas, 2008. "Trade Reform and Inequality: The Case of Mexico and Argentina in the 1990s," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(6), pages 763-780, June.
    6. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    7. Marco Manacorda & Carolina Sanchez-Paramo & Norbert Schady, 2010. "Changes in Returns to Education in Latin America: The Role of Demand and Supply of Skills," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 307-326, January.
    8. Gindling, T.H. & Terrell, Katherine, 2005. "The effect of minimum wages on actual wages in formal and informal sectors in Costa Rica," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1905-1921, November.
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    10. Louise Cord & Oscar Barriga†Cabanillas & Leonardo Lucchetti & Carlos Rodríguez†Castelán & Liliana D. Sousa & Daniel Valderrama, 2017. "Inequality Stagnation in Latin America in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 157-181, February.
    11. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi K. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2004. "Trade reforms and wage inequality in Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 331-366, August.
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    13. Javier Alejo & Marcelo Bérgolo & Fedora Carbajal, 2013. "Las Transferencias Públicas y su impacto distributivo: La Experiencia de los Países del Cono Sur en la década de 2000," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0141, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    14. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & Inchauste, Gabriela & Sanfelice, Viviane, 2013. "Decomposing the recent inequality decline in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6715, The World Bank.
    15. Leonardo Gasparini & Nora Lustig, 2011. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1110, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    16. Guillermo Cruces & Leonardo Gasparini, 2008. "A Distribution in Motion: The Case of Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0078, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    17. Lindley, Joanne & Machin, Stephen, 2011. "Rising Wage Inequality and Postgraduate Education," IZA Discussion Papers 5981, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Cruces, Guillermo & Gasparini, Leonardo, 2011. "Inequality in Education: Evidence for Latin America," WIDER Working Paper Series 093, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    19. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillero Cruces & Leopoldo Tornarolli, 2011. "Recent Trends In Income Inequality In Latin America," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 147-201, January.
    20. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    21. Atolia, Manoj, 2007. "Trade liberalization and rising wage inequality in Latin America: Reconciliation with HOS theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 467-494, April.
    22. Brambilla, Irene & Carneiro, Rafael Dix & Lederman, Daniel & Porto, Guido, 2010. "Skills, exports, and the wages of five million Latin American workers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5246, The World Bank.
    23. Pablo Acosta & Leonardo Gasparini, 2007. "Capital Accumulation, Trade Liberalization, and Rising Wage Inequality: The Case of Argentina," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 793-812, July.
    24. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Wai-Poi, Matthew, 2007. "Trade liberalization, employment flows, and wage inequality in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4108, The World Bank.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2019-04-29 14:00:46

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raymundo Campos & Gerardo Esquivel & Nora Lustig, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989–2010," Working Papers 267, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Naude, Wim & Nagler, Paula, 2015. "Industrialisation, Innovation, Inclusion," MERIT Working Papers 043, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Carlos Rodriguez-Castelan & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Nora Lustig & Daniel Valderrama, 2016. "Understanding the Dynamics of Labor Income Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1608, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    4. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & Davalos, Maria Eugenia & Diaz-Bonilla, Carolina & Atuesta, Bernardo & Castaneda, Raul Andres, 2013. "Fifteen years of inequality in Latin America : how have labor markets helped ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6384, The World Bank.
    5. Binelli Chiara, 2015. "How the wage-education profile got more convex: evidence from Mexico," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 509-560, July.
    6. Lustig, Nora & Lopez-Calva, Luis F. & Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo, 2013. "Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 129-141.
    7. Fernández, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2018. "Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 555-573.
    8. Marina Bassi & Matias Busso & Juan Sebastian Muñoz, 2015. "Enrollment, Graduation, and Dropout Rates in Latin America: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2015), pages 113-156, October.
    9. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Cruz, Marcio & Milet, Emmanuel & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2017. "Online Exports and the Wage Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 12092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Bentaouet Kattan,Raja & Székely,Miguel, 2015. "Analyzing the dynamics of school dropout in upper secondary education in Latin America : a cohort approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7223, The World Bank.
    12. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:1:p:157-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Louise Cord & Oscar Barriga†Cabanillas & Leonardo Lucchetti & Carlos Rodríguez†Castelán & Liliana D. Sousa & Daniel Valderrama, 2017. "Inequality Stagnation in Latin America in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 157-181, February.
    14. Luis Beccaria & Roxana Maurizio & Gustavo Vázquez, 2015. "Recent decline in wage inequality and formalization of the labour market in Argentina," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5), pages 677-700, September.
    15. Cruces, Guillermo & Gasparini, Leonardo, 2011. "Inequality in Education: Evidence for Latin America," WIDER Working Paper Series 093, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies

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