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Skill Premium, Labor Supply and Changes in the Structure of Wages in Latin America

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  • Fernandez Sierra, Manuel

    () (University of Essex)

  • Messina, Julián

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

Abstract

Earnings inequality declined rapidly in Argentina, Brazil and Chile during the 2000s. A reduction in the experience premium is a fundamental driver of declines in upper-tail (90/50) inequality, while a decline in the education premium is the primary determinant of the evolution of lower-tail (50/10) inequality. Relative labor supply is important for explaining changes in the skill premiums. Relative demand trends favored high-skilled workers during the 1990s, shifting in favor of low-skilled workers during the 2000s. Changes in the minimum wage, and more importantly, commodity-led terms of trade improvements are key factors behind these relative skill demand trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernandez Sierra, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2017. "Skill Premium, Labor Supply and Changes in the Structure of Wages in Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 10718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10718
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    Keywords

    earnings inequality; unconditional quantile regressions; supply-demand framework; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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